Cyclone Cook is expected to bring heavy rain and gusts of up to 140km/h as it moves south overnight, MetService says.
And a random selection of forecasts for South Island towns and cities for the rest of the Easter holiday weekend:
Motueka: Friday is yucky. Rain with heavy falls first up, coupled with a northerly. Saturday, Sunday and Monday have a combination of showers and sun. Temperatures hover around 20 degrees.
Westport (great place, you should visit): Those who enjoy rain will be in their element on Friday and Saturday. It will be a paradise for you. Sunday and Monday bring the much more boring sun and a comfortable 18/19 degrees.
Christchurch: Unpleasant rain and wind Friday morning but the sun pops its smiley face out in the afternoon. Saturday is a balmy 22 degrees, while Sunday and Monday get chilly thanks to a southerly change.
Queenstown: Rain on Friday. Saturday, Sunday and Monday get sun.
Given it is the Easter holiday weekend, below is a quick round-up of the weather in some randomly selected NZ towns and cities (The North Island to start):
Auckland: Friday, fine apart from a few showers, strong wind, 22 degrees. Saturday: Occasional showers, clearing to fine in the afternoon, less wind, 21 degrees. Sunday and Monday, repeat and rinse lightly with some showers.
Taupo: Some showers each day. Temperatures between 17 and 19 degrees.
New Plymouth: Pretty much the same as Taupo.
Napier: Pretty damn nice. Sunny, and 24 degrees Friday and Saturday. Sunday is 22 degrees and Monday some showers, 20 degrees.
Wellington: Ugly Friday – gales easing through the morning. Quite a bit of rain. Saturday a few showers in the morning but long sunny spells in the arvo take the temperature to 18 degrees. Sunday and Monday showers.
So, below is a graph of the web traffic on rnz.co.nz comparing most of Thursday (the blue line) with Wednesday (the orange). What you see is how interested people have been in the Cyclone. You also see quite the dip around midday – when our servers decided they weren’t into it at all:
In other news, a small quake in north Canterbury:
There continue to be many reports of trees down and damage, particularly in the Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay but we won’t have the full picture to first light.
And the latest satellite image from the MetService. The picture is getting brighter, if you can say that of a black and white picture when it’s dark outside:
This weather-related track comes from the deep memory of my colleague Edward Gay, who is working overnight in our Auckland office. Warning: It is loud and will wake you, and anyone within a kilometre or two up if you don’t have the headphones on. It’s a gale, weather pun, boom, of guitars:
A quick re-cap of where things are at:
Cyclone Cook swept south through Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay on Thursday, triggering evacuations and cutting power to thousands.
Many roads were blocked due to landslips and fallen trees and power poles.
MetService has lifted severe weather warnings for Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty but said gusts of up to 140km/h were still possible in Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington until early Friday morning.
More than 20,000 properties around Hawke’s Bay and Rotorua, according to Unison’s website, and about 1000 in the Gisborne area lost power due to high winds on Thursday.
Back to songs about the weather. Track two comes from Tokoroa born Jenny Morris. It is the perfectly titled Break in the Weather:
More than 100 people are bedding down at Whakatane’s Red Cross centre overnight, the last family arrived shortly before midnight.
Red Cross spokesperson Lauren Hayes says the Memorial Hall is sheltering 114 people tonight.
Those seeking shelter will also be offered a toothbrush, breakfast and a friendly chat.
“We’ve had one family that came in really late. They’d driven to Auckland and they were driving back, trying to get back to their home. They had a wee bubba in the car with them and they just couldn’t get through – they were going through all the back roads and they were closed. They finally pulled in here to the Whakatane centre and we managed to get them in and set them up with a bed for the night which I think they were quite glad about.”
Ms Hayes says people from as far away as Opotiki are bedding down in the hall tonight.
The Red Cross is asking for donations. All money will go to people in the Bay of Plenty affected by the recent floods.
The rain radar just after midnight is, well, er, wet:
If you’re sitting in the dark but still have your phone or laptop powered up and want to know what is happening with power outages head here: http://www.unison.co.nz/outages
It’s late so we can go slightly off-piste for a bit. Time for some songs about the weather. The first is for avid reader Carol. There are quite a few songs by NZ groups about the weather… it’s a surprise there aren’t more given how much of the rough stuff we get. Here’s perhaps the most famous: