Weather: New Zealand shivers as temperatures drop to -4.3degC

New Zealand faces another day of bad weather as a new front moves up New Zealand.

MetService issued a watch for Auckland and Northland on Thursday, warning of thunderstorms and strong winds.

Much of Auckland and the Taranaki region has already been damaged by two days of massive storms, leaving thousands without power.

The wintry blast also caused the first major snow of 2018 in parts of Canterbury.

What you need to know: 

  • Auckland has been left heavily damaged following extremely strong winds. 
  • Around 45,000 customers are still without power.
  • Overnight lows of 6degC were expected on Wednesday night in Auckland.
  • More bad weather is on the way on Thursday evening.

These updates are currently closed.

09:10am - New Zealand shivers as temperatures plummet

New Zealand faces bitter cold around the country as winter sets in early.

Auckland woke up to 6degC on Thursday morning - while the South Island started off below freezing.

"Coldest place in NZ this morning is St Arnaud in the Nelson Lakes area starting the day on -4.3degC!" MetService says on Twitter.

"Coldest town was Blenheim on -1.2degC at 7am. Another couple of cooler days ahead for many places around the country."

08:25am - Several roads remain closed

Auckland Transport warns that multiple roads remain closed after the devastating storm.

"Following Tuesday nights severe storm, the following roads are currently affected. Please avoid these roads if possible or expect delays and/or diversions where required," it says.

"In addition the ongoing power outages means that multiple traffic signals across Auckland are out until power can be restored. If you travel through an affected intersection this morning, please apply give way rules and drive with extra care."

Central Auckland

  • Temple Street in Meadowbank is CLOSED.
  • Pilkington Road is CLOSED between Torino Street and Tripoli Road in Mt Wellington.
  • Hillstan Place in Onehunga is CLOSED.

South Auckland

  • The corner of Marne Road and Settlement Road in Papakura is CLOSED.
  • Adams Drive is CLOSED near Keith Place in Pukekohe.
  • Boiler Gully Road is CLOSED near Manukau Heads Road in Awhitu

07:40am - Multiple traffic signals remain out across Auckland

"Multiple traffic signals across Auckland will remain out this morning due to power outages from Tue night's severe storm," Auckland Transport warns on Twitter.

"Please be patient, take extra care & follow give-way rules at all affected intersections until power is able to be restored."

07:15am - Weather Watch issues national forecast

"A front moves onto the lower South Island late morning, reaching the North Island in the evening," Weather Watch says.

Rain will move through Northland and Auckland in the late afternoon or evening.

06:30am - Vector warns public to avoid downed power lines

Vector's crews have been working through the night to restore power and have reduced the number without power to 55,000, down from 79,000 last night. However it will be a few days until power and/or hot water is restored to all areas.  

"As people start their days, it's important to stay well clear of any downed power lines or damaged electrical equipment. Treat power lines as live at all times," a Vector spokesperson says.

Vector's advice during ongoing outages

  • Please stay well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times.
  • Avoid possible damage to electrical appliances (in the unlikely event there is a power surge when the power is restored) by switching off appliances at the wall.
  • Where possible, make plans to stay with friends and family who have power, or make alternative accommodation arrangements.
  • Keep a torch and spare batteries handy and ensure that you have at least one telephone that does not rely on electricity for operation.
  • Ensure that an alternate fuel is always available for cooking.

05:45am - Fears for vulnerable after cold night without power

Auckland Emergency Management is urging people to check in on the vulnerable after a cold night in Auckland.

Temperatures dropped overnight as low as 6degC, and there are fears for those without power for heating.

"This is a time for us all to work together. Some people have been without power for almost 24 hours - this means cold water, food hygiene issues and a chilly night without heating," director John Dragicevich says.

"If you live next to someone who may be vulnerable, please pop over and check on them."

People that can't call on family or friends for help can call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 00 for advice and assistance. If your life is at risk, phone 111.

05:30am - North Island in for more wind

MetService is warning residents of the upper North Island to prepare for another short, sharp spell of high winds on Thursday.

A severe weather watch has been issued for Northland and Auckland.

Metservice meteorologist Tom Adams says the blast will be "short lived", and is expected to be gone by 3am Friday.

Strong winds could hit already battered Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato with a heavy wind watch in place.

A burst of heavy rain could also hit western areas of the South Island and many parts of the country will experience strong southwesterly winds, Mr Adams says.

"It's unfortunate changeable classic autumn weather."

This next wintry blast won't be as bad as the "chaos" of Tuesday, but with already damaged unsecured branches and power lines people should be wary of the potential of further damage or falling items, he says.