Weather live updates: Wild weather hits North Island as SkyCity fire burns

Wild weather lashed the North Island on Wednesday, hampering efforts to fight the fire currently burning at Auckland's Sky City convention centre.

What you need to know:

 

  • A massive fire is currently burning at the partially-built SkyCity International Convention Centre
  • A strong wind watch is currently in place for most of the North Island and a small part of the South Island
  • Winds could reach up to 110km/h and are expected to peak around midday
  • There is a risk of thunderstorms for most of North Island and the north of the South Island
  • There are heavy snow watches in place for parts of the South Island

These live updates have now ended.

12:50pm - Some Auckland ferries have been cancelled. Afternoon and evening services between Auckland central and Half Moon Bay will not go ahead.

12:26pm - Desert Rd is currently open but snow is falling. MetService warns some snow flurries may fall but not much will settle on the road.

NZTA is asking motorists to drive to the conditions.

12:12pm - NIWA has posted a time lapse of the morning's weather in Auckland. The peak wind gust recorded so far remains 116.3km/h.

11:26am - MetService is warning heavy showers in Auckland are imminent.

"[The showers] will bring about some gusty winds, possible hail and a small wind direction change. This will have an effect on people north of the city."

11:09am - Fire and Emergency New Zealand regional manager Ron Devlin says the rain has been "absolutely no help" fighting the blaze currently raging at the partially-built SkyCity International Convention Centre.

10:35am - Two lines of heavy showers are approaching Auckland, with the first blast of rain, wind and hail expected to arrive by 11am.

A second line will arrive around midday.

10:20am - Dansey's Pass in Central Otago has a covering of snow and is open to four-wheel drive vehicles. 

Snow covered hills.
Dansey's Pass. Photo credit: Newshub/Grant Findlay

10:07am - MetService says it is windy in Wellington with gusts of 130km/h recorded around Mt Kaukau. Auckland has coastal gusts of around 115km/h.  

9:51am - NIWA says the most recent peak gust recorded at the SkyTower is 116.3km/h. The wind is expected to peak between 11:00am and 1:00pm.

9:15am - It is snowing in the lower South Island. Pictures taken on Wednesday morning in the town of Naseby, Central Otago, show a thick dusting on the ground

A horse in snow.
Naseby. Photo credit: Newshub/Grant Findlay

8:51am - Forecaster WeatherWatch says the elements won't be doing firefighters any favours.

"Average winds speeds today are already near gale force at SkyCity with gusts to 90 and 100km/h this morning expected around the CBD. (And isolated squalls may see gusts up to 120km/h)," WeatherWatch said in a statement.

"SkyCity is also halfway up the main hilly rise in Auckland, this makes it even more exposed to peak wind gusts - meaning gusts on the roof may be even higher than forecast."

Newshub is also running live updates on the fire.

A graph of the expected wind.
A graph of the expected wind. Photo credit: Supplied/WeatherWatch

8:26am - MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray believes the winds could hit more than 110km/h.

"It's going to pick up to about 75, possibly 110, kilometres per hour around noon."

8:15am - The following places have a strong wind watch in place: 

Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Waikato, Waitomo, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty from Tauranga northwards, coastal Hawke's Bay, coastal Gisborne, Whanganui, south Taranaki, Wairarapa, Wellington and Marlborough. 

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