Auckland Harbour Bridge speed reduced, closures possible as severe gales hit city

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Waka Kotahi says speed restrictions will be in place and lane closures on the Harbour Bridge are likely, and a full closure is possible if winds become too strong. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

MetService is warning there may be hail and thunderstorms as Waka Kotahi reduces speeds on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with closures possible.

Waka Kotahi has issued an amber alert between 7am and 11am as wind gusts are expected to reach 75 to 80km/h.

Under an amber alert, speeds are reduced and lanes on the bridge may close.

This morning ahead of gales hitting the bridge was operating with four lanes open in either direction during the rush hour.

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NZTA warned motorists to expect delays and take extra care if driving a lighter or high-sided vehicle.

The same blustery weather is forecast to hit again tomorrow morning, with severe gales of the same speeds reappearing briefly.

Passing showers will accompany the strong winds on Sunday morning, which will likely bring about another amber alert.

MetService meteorologist Alain Baillie forecast temperatures across the weekend for Auckland are about average for this time of year, but this could be deceptive.

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“The strong wind and frequent showers will mean the 15 degrees forecast for Auckland will feel more like 8 or 9 degrees,” Ballie said.

MetService is forecasting showers with thunderstorms and hail possible in the evening.

Waka Kotahi also warned of thunderstorms across the day which could increase the speed of the winds.

“This would need to track very close to the bridge to raise the alert level,” Waka Kotahi said.

Meanwile, a heavy snow watch is in force for Otago, Fiordland and Southland with snow expected to fall down to 100 m from tomorrow afternoon.





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