NZ weather: Wild gusts force flights in and out of Wellington to divert and cancel

Wild winds are forcing cancellations and diversions at Wellington Airport.

In a post on X, Wellington Airport said windy gusts have caused a number of disruptions and cancellations in and out of the capital.  

Looking at the airport's website, an 8:44am flight from New Plymouth was forced to divert, while flights from Picton, Blenheim and Rotorua are among others that have been cancelled all together.   

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane told Newshub winds across the Wellington region have reached speeds in excess of 120km/h in exposed areas.   

"At the Wellington Airport itself, we have seen wind speeds in the region of about 100km/h."  

Makgabutlane told Newshub a southerly wind change is expected later on Tuesday morning, bring an ease in the winds experienced on Tuesday morning, though she does warn they could pick up again.   

It comes as a complex trough of low pressure is expected to bring snow, severe gales and heavy rain as it makes its way across the motu.     

MetService's website said the trough of low pressure is expected to move onto the South Island from the Tasman Sea from Monday night, then move northwards onto central Aotearoa during Tuesday.   

"Cold southerlies should move north over the South Island during Tuesday, bringing snow as low as 600 metres about the Mackenzie Basin."  

MetService says strong winds and heavy rain will lash several areas of the South Island and southern North Island.   

Orange heavy rain warnings have been issued for several regions in the south. MetService warns downpours may cause streams and rivers to "rise rapidly".  

Tasman about and west of Motueka, Nelson Lakes, Buller and Grey Districts is under a heavy rain warning from 1am Tuesday to 7pm Tuesday.  

A heavy rain warning also sits over Westland south of Otira from 8pm Monday to 8am Tuesday.  

Headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers about and south of Arthur's Pass are under a heavy rain warning too from 8pm Monday to 11am Tuesday.   

Heavy rain watches have been issued for a couple of regions in the south, including Marlborough northwest of Awatere Valley, and Tasman east of Motueka excluding Nelson Lakes, which came into effect at midnight Monday and ends 10pm Tuesday.   

Headwaters of the Canterbury lakes and rivers north of Arthur's Pass are under a heavy rain warning from 3am Tuesday to 6pm Tuesday.   

A strong wind watch has been issued for Wairarapa south of Carterton, Wellington and Marlborough from midnight Monday to 2pm Tuesday.   

Mackenzie Basin is under a heavy snow watch which came into effect at 2am on Tuesday and expires at 12pm Tuesday.   

Road snowfall warnings have been issued for many State Highway networks across Aotearoa. Lewis Pass, State Highway 7 is under a road snowfall warning from 11am Tuesday to 2pm Tuesday. 

State Highway 73, Arthur's Pass is under one too from 6am Tuesday to 1pm Tuesday.   

A road snowfall warning has been issued on Porters Pass, State Highway 73 from 4am Tuesday to 2pm Tuesday.  

Lindis Pass, State Highway 8's road snowfall warning came into effect at 1am Tuesday and expires at 10am Tuesday.   

The Crown Range Road is under one too from 1am Tuesday to 8am Tuesday.