Waves crash against the rocks on Aotea's east coast, foreshadowing the high winds and thunderstorms to come. Photo / Will Trafford

Gales and Thunderstorms Batter Aotea, Flights, Ferry Cancelled

Waves crash against the rocks on Aotea’s east coast, foreshadowing the high winds and thunderstorms to come. Photo / AoteaGBI.news

Brace yourself, Barrier. A powerful storm system is bringing severe gales, heavy rain, and potentially damaging thunderstorms.

The MetService has issued an Orange Strong Wind Warning for the island, with severe gale southwesterlies expected to gust up to 120km/h in exposed places starting around 3pm today and lasting for approximately 11 hours. The winds have the potential to cause damage to trees, and unsecured structures.

Anyone on the roads, particularly those driving high-sided vehicles and motorcycles, are urged to exercise extreme caution, especially in exposed or elevated areas. The combination of strong winds and heavy rain could make driving conditions hazardous.

The MetService also warns of a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms during the afternoon and early evening, which could further intensify the wind gusts.

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Barrier Drainage

Pictures of the storm? Email editor@aoteagbi.news

The bad weather caused an Island Aviation flight to be diverted to Whangārei due to poor conditions earlier at North Shore Airport. Several flights this afternoon have been canceled by both airlines due to the poor conditions.

The ferry sailing to and from Port Fitzroy has been cancelled also. A replacement sailing is now scheduled for Saturday, 1st June, with departures set for 6am from Hamer Street to Tryphena and 3pm from Tryphena to Hamer Street.

While this afternoon’s weather is predicted to hit Auckland first before tracking southwest across the gulf to Great Barrier Island, other parts of the country will also feel its effects. Heavy rain and strong winds are forecast for Northland, Waikato, and the east coast, and snowfall warnings have been issued for parts of the South Island.

Auckland Emergency Management advises whānau to stay indoors and only venture outside if absolutely necessary. If you must go out, be cautious of flying debris and watch for fallen branches and other obstacles, they said.

To prepare for the storm, secure any outdoor items by bringing them inside or tying them down.

Stay tuned to the MetService for the latest updates and warnings.

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