Cook Strait ferries cancelled as 110kmh winds, big swells bear down on Wellington


Waves up to 5 metres are expected to pound Wellington with winds up to 110kmh from Wednesday afternoon.

The Wellington City Council says that it will be keeping an eye on South Coast roads as conditions worsen throughout the day.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said on Wednesday morning that he had nothing to report so far, but motorists should be careful.

“The high winds could potentially bring down trees during the day in various parts of the city and region.”

Do you have images of the wild weather this morning? newstips@dompost.co.nz

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The Bluebridge ferry gets a battering on Wellington's South Coast, photographed from Owhiro Bay.

The-Dominion-Post

The Bluebridge ferry gets a battering on Wellington’s South Coast, photographed from Owhiro Bay.

There were no recent reports of weather-related incidents with the council’s contact centre.

An NZTA Wellington traffic update for Wednesday morning said there were currently no warnings or incidents to report.

Some Cook Strait Interislander ferries have been cancelled for the day as a precaution.

MetService is forecasting southerly gusts up to 110kmh in Wellington.

The Owhiro Bay community, on Wellington's South Coast, will be keeping an eye on swells on Wednesday.

The-Dominion-Post

The Owhiro Bay community, on Wellington’s South Coast, will be keeping an eye on swells on Wednesday.

It has a strong wind watch in place from 6pm on Wednesday to 8am Thursday.

MetService lead meteorologist Kyle Lee said on Wednesday morning that so far the winds were slightly increasing but would obviously increase in the evening.

“The airport has had maximum gusts up to 85kmh in the last few hours,” Lee said.

“In terms of the swell, these are also expected to increase this evening and peaking overnight tonight with combined waves as high as 5.5 or even 6.5 metres expected along the south coast.

Some Cook Strait ferries have been cancelled for the day as a precaution.

The-Dominion-Post

Some Cook Strait ferries have been cancelled for the day as a precaution.

“Currently, the swell is around 2.1 metres.”

Forecaster Aidan Pyselman said the waves were expected to be of a similar height – up to 5m – to those that recently caused destruction on Wellington’s South Coast.

However, it was hard to say if similar problems would occur this time around, he said.

Interislander executive general manager Walter Rushbrook understood the waves in Cook Strait were expected to reach up to 6 metres, leading to the cancellation of some crossings on Wednesday and Thursday.

These were the 4pm Wednesday from Wellington to Picton; the 8.45pm return from Picton; the 8.30pm from Wellington, then 2.30am return from Picton; and the 6.30pm Wednesday from Picton, and 2am return sailing from Wellington.

High winds could potentially bring down trees during the day in various parts of the city and region, the city council has warned.

The-Dominion-Post

High winds could potentially bring down trees during the day in various parts of the city and region, the city council has warned.