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Wet and wild

Masterton streets were waterlogged as winter rain hit on Wednesday. PHOTO/GRACE PRIOR

Four seasons in one day as winter descends on region

Grace Prior

As we enter the first few days of winter, Wairarapa’s weather has been sure to match the season with a strong wind watch, rough seas, and possible thunderstorms this week.

A strong wind watch was in place until early yesterday morning after a blustery day in South Wairarapa.

MetService put the watch in place for 18 hours from 9am Wednesday to 3am yesterday.

It said the watch covered most of Wellington and Wairarapa south of Featherston.

“Northwest winds may approach severe gale in exposed places.”

Rainfall could reach warning criteria for the Tararua Ranges yesterday, MetService said.

Those entering the ranges could expect rain or showers paired with possible thunderstorms.

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research [Niwa] said wind chill could bring temperatures down to 2 degrees Celsius by 9pm at Powell Hutt. Rain, wind, and low-temperature warnings extended until tonight.

Niwa said the wind chill at Powell Hutt could reach -3C by 11pm tonight.

Meanwhile, a gale warning was in place for the marine area near Castlepoint.

The warning was in place on Wednesday and was set to remain until at least Saturday.

MetService said yesterday’s sea could become “very rough” to the south. There would be a 25-knot northerly, cranking up to 40 knots south of Cape Palliser.

A moderate northeast swell was expected to ease by yesterday afternoon.

Today could see rough seas paired with a southerly reaching 25 knots in the late morning.

By tomorrow morning, the 25-knot southerly would ease to 15 knots, dropping down to a “variable 10 knots” in the evening.

Heavy swell warnings remained in place for the west coast of the Wellington region, with waves reaching 4 metres north of Pukerua Bay Wednesday afternoon, easing to 3.5m yesterday afternoon.

The wild weather came as an unsettled northwesterly flow covered the nation this week.

Looking forward to the winter months, Niwa said temperatures in Wairarapa were likely to be above average.

“A predicted lack of southerly winds will likely reduce the frequency of cold spells, although a colder-than-average period is likely in mid-June.”

Niwa said rainfall was likely to be near-normal or slightly above normal this winter, and river flows would stay near normal.

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