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The Gales Of Spring

Issued at 12:39pm 22-Sep-2008
The Gales Of Spring

MetService is warning that on Tuesday, northwest gales may generate gusts of 120 km/hour over inland eastern areas from Southland to Wairarapa and about Wellington. Additionally, heavy rain is likely in the mountains about and south of Otira, with significant falls reaching the headwaters of Canterbury and Otago rivers.

"The gales of spring have arrived", said MetService Weather Ambassador Bob McDavitt. "The power in these winds is sufficiently strong enough at times to damage trees and powerlines, and lift some roofs".

The equinox occurs when the sun is directly overhead the Equator. This spring it will be at 3.44am Tuesday 23 September, a day later than normal because 2008 is a leap year. Around the time of the spring equinox, the days are lengthening quickly - and after the spring equinox, days are longer than nights.

"The temperature difference between the tropics and the polar regions is the driving force behind the 'Roaring Forties'. This temperature difference reaches its peak at this time of the year, which is why it's not uncommon to have periods of strong westerlies in spring", explained Mr. McDavitt.

"Tuesday's front may bring rain totalling 200 mm in the high country of South Westland. People are advised to be on the lookout for rapidly rising rivers and streams, even on the Canterbury and Otago side of the main divide".


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