Monday, February 20, 2023

MetService - Press release Monday 20 to Thursday 23 Feb 2023

Rain and Cold Creeping North

Cold & rain rolling in Mon - Thursday


Covering period of Monday 20 - Thursday 23 February

MetService is forecasting a substantial drop in temperatures this week, as a cold front moves over the country from the Southern Ocean. The arrival of the cooler airmass will bring rain to many of the parched areas of the South Island. Several Heavy Rain Watches have been issued for the southern areas before this system travels further north. 

MetService meteorologist Alwyn Bakker said, “The change in temperature will be quite dramatic for some locations. Plenty of places in Otago and Canterbury will see a fall of ten degrees from Tuesday to Wednesday.” 

Alexandra is in for a particularly remarkable drop, with a forecast high of 30°C on Tuesday and a mere 15°C on Wednesday. 

“This isn’t the largest change in temperature they’ve ever recorded in 24 hours, but it is close,” notes Bakker, “And if Alexandra doesn’t rise above 15.7°C on Wednesday, they will see their coldest maximum temperature this summer.” 

Along with the cooler temperatures comes the rain.  

“The parched south and east of the South Island will be in for some relief, with some locations forecast to see 40mm of rain in 24 hours.  That’s as much rainfall as parts of inland Otago have had all year,” adds Bakker. 

Heavy Rain Watches have been issued for Otago, Southland, northern Fiordland, and the ranges of Westland south of Otira. Coupled with the cold temperatures, that rain may fall as snow dusting the peaks of the ranges down to 1000 metres. 

As the front travels further north, cooler temperatures continue but rainfall amounts are expected to decrease.  

“The arrival of cold air may not be welcomed, but decreased rain intensity will be a relief for those parts of the North Island affected by Cyclone Gabrielle last week. MetService advises keeping up to date with our forecasts, as the criteria to trigger Heavy Rain Warnings have been lowered in many areas,” Bakker cautions.


Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

TASMAN donations going to Hawke’s Bay

Transport Company Westhaul transporting aid to Hawke's Bay


MOTUEKA  Westhaul offer transport for public donations - orchardists offer equipment for Cyclone-ravaged Hawke’s Bay

A Motueka-based trucking company is donating a truck and trailer to take a truck full of supplies donated by the public and orchardists to the Hawke's Bay early this week.

The trucking company is Westhaul. The managing director Karl Westrupp is calling for the public to donate household items that will be required in the recovery.

“Our trucks are frequent visitors to the Hawke’s Bay region with up to three loads per week. We usually transport in and out of the area. To see these floods wreak havoc on the lives of our customers and their family and friends is heart-breaking.”

Westrupp says people can donate “whatever they can find as long as it’s good – furniture, kitchen items, non-perishable foodstuffs, canned foods, clothing, blankets and bed linen.”

One of many destroyed homes in Hawke's Bay
People can take items to Wairepo Holdings in Weka Road, Tasman. Goods must arrive by Monday evening and the truck will then head north on Tuesday morning on the Cook Strait ferry.

The Tasman area is similar to Hawke's Bay in that it is home to many orchards. Westrupp said one orchardist asked if he could send some equipment to Hawke's Bay, which encouraged him to spread the word.

Orchards devastated in Hawke's Bay

People can take items to Wairepo Holdings on Weka Road, Tasman, by Monday evening. 

The truck will head north on Tuesday morning on the Cook Strait ferry.

This was noted on Facebook

We've just been contacted by Westhaul Motueka - They are organising a "charity drive" collaborating with Wairepo Holdings and Fairfield Orchard to take a truck up to Hastings this coming TUESDAY.

Westhaul are taking the truck up, Aaron Drummond is putting his digger and bob cat into the truck, Wairepo Holdings are using their cool store in Mariri to hold the items ready to load on Tuesday.

They want to make the most of the truck - so if you have any items you would like to donate to the displaced families up there please drop off to the cool store. 

Items such as food, adult & children's clothing, gloves, buckets, shovels, sanitary products for women, nappies, plus any other items you think will be useful to families who have had to leave their beloved homes.

Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman

Friday, February 17, 2023

Weather Forecast - fine weekend by the coast


Weather Forecast for Tasman and Nelson

No severe weather watches or warnings for this location.

Issued 9:53pm Wed 15 Feb

TODAT 18 Feb

Morning cloud clearing to fine about the coast, but remaining partly cloudy inland with isolated afternoon and evening showers. Light winds turning northerly late morning and dying out in the evening.

Issued 11:13am Fri 17 Feb


Fine. Northwesterlies developing.

Issued 10:01am Fri 17 Feb

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

MetService Press Release - Tasman - Nelson Weather



Cyclone Gabrielle moves away but its tail brings more rain


Covering period of Wednesday 15 - Sunday 19 February

Cyclone Gabrielle was located 400km to the east of Gisborne at 10am this morning (Wednesday) and is continuing to move further away to the southeast, weakening as it travels towards the north of the Chatham Islands. MetService advises that severe weather has eased in most places, however heavy rain continues to impact parts of Central New Zealand through until Thursday evening.

MetService Meteorologist Jessie Owen explains, “A front extending back from Cyclone Gabrielle is bringing heavy rain to northern Canterbury and eastern Marlborough today. This front is expected to spread up the eastern North Island from tonight and into Thursday and Friday bringing another burst of southerly winds and rain before pulling away over the ocean.”

A MetService Orange Heavy Rain Warning is in force for Eastern Marlborough south of Ward, including the Kaikoura Coast, and Canterbury north of Waiau until 9am Thursday. A Heavy Rain Watch is in force for Canterbury north of Methven until 5am Thursday. An Orange Heavy Rain Warning has been issued for Wairarapa south of Masterton and the eastern hills of Wellington starting from 10pm Wednesday until 6pm Thursday. 

Rain is then expected to spread up the east of the North Island on Thursday, and there is a risk of thunderstorms in the ranges of Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti / Gisborne. 

“While rainfall accumulations are not expected to reach warning amounts in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti / Gisborne on Thursday and Friday it will be falling on saturated soil in an area where rivers are still running high and floodwaters remain so there could still be further damage and flooding associated with it,” says Jessie.

The remainder of the country is experiencing relatively settled weather today(Wednesday). On Thursday the front in the east moves north bringing rain to eastern areas, and the rest of the North Island can also expect to see some showers throughout the day. 

On Friday a ridge of high pressure pushes in from the west and Cyclone Gabrielle will no longer be affecting the country. The North Island can expect settled weather from Friday and into next week – good news for the recovery effort.

Weather stats:

Many areas of the country were hit hard by this extreme weather event, here are some numbers illustrating just how much rain and wind was experienced across the North Island and the top of the South Island (from 12am Sunday to 7am Wednesday): 


250 – 400 mm of rain was recorded across the region with the largest amount recorded at Glenbervie Forest (408.7mm). Whangārei Airport received 320.4mm. Wind gusts over 130 km/h were recorded in the most exposed stations with 141 km/h recorded at Cape Reinga. Whangārei Airport recorded a gust of 102 km/h.


Over 200 mm of rain was accorded around the region with Waitākere recording the most (248mm). Wind gusts of up to 130-150 km/h were recorded at the most exposed sites. Auckland Harbour Bridge recorded 115 km/h and the airport recorded 78 km/h.

Coromandel Peninsula:

The Pinnacles station in the ranges recorded 447mm of rain and other elevated stations received 220 – 270 mm. Whitianga recorded 170.6 mm. Golden Valley (near Waihi) experienced wind gusts of up to 109 km/h.  

Bay of Plenty:

The highest rainfall recorded in the region was at Queenshead (163.5mm). Tauranga recorded 122.7 mm, Rotorua 86.1 mm, Whakatāne 82.8 mm, and Te Puke 78.6 mm. Wind gusts recorded in the area were between 80-90 km/h.

Tairāwhiti / Gisborne:

The largest rainfall accumulation was recorded in Hikuwai where 488 mm of rain fell. A number of other stations (mainly in the ranges) recorded over 400 mm. Gisborne Airport received 185.3 mm (although due to power cuts it stopped recording after 2am Tuesday). Wind gusts were recorded across the region up to 93 km/h.

Hawke’s Bay:

Elevated stations in the ranges recorded the most with Pukeorapa receiving 337.5 mm. Napier Airport recorded 203.8 mm and Hastings recorded 143.8 mm. Wind gusts were recorded up to 90 km/h with exposed stations near the coast reaching higher such as Cape Kidnappers (131 km/h).


The most rainfall was recorded at elevated stations in the ranges, between 180 – 280 mm. Masterton Airport received 62 mm. Exposed stations near the coast recorded high wind gusts; Cape Turnagain recorded 146 km/h and Castlepoint recorded 113 km/h.


Rainfall was moderate with 30 – 45 mm recorded across the region, but the wind was very strong – New Plymouth Airport recorded gusts of up to 128 km/h.


Rainfall of 60 – 90 mm was recorded around the region and gusts of 98 km/hr were experienced at Whanganui Airport.


Highest accumulations were recorded in northern and eastern parts of the Hutt Valley (100 – 160 mm). Mt Kaukau (an elevated site) recorded the highest gust of 146 km/h, around the city gusts of up to 100 km/h were experienced.


Snowflake Ridge (a very elevated site) recorded 230 mm of rain. Other stations around the region recorded up to 100 – 130 mm. Kaikōura received 59.8 mm and Picton received 59.5 mm. Cape Campbell recorded wind gusts of up to 93 km/hr and Kaikōura recorded 65 km/h.

Weather Forecast for Tasman and Nelson

No severe weather watches or warnings in force for this location

Issued 9:53pm Wed 15 Feb

Cyclone Gabrielle

At 7am Wednesday morning Cyclone Gabrielle (979hPa) was located near 38.3S 177.7W, about 360km east of Gisborne, moving east at 15kt (28km/h). Cyclone Gabrielle is expected to move further southeast away from the North Island today while weakening, and should remain well to the east of the Chatham Islands as it moves past them tonight.


TODAY 16 Feb

Mostly cloudy with scattered showers, possibly heavy about Golden Bay, clearing and becoming fine in the evening. Southwesterlies.

Issued 9:53pm Wed 15 Feb



Fine. Light winds.

Issued 10:02am Wed 15 Feb


Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman.

The whole of New Zealand feels magnitude 6.3 earthquake

The Top of the South and Lower North Island rocked by magnitude 6.3 earthquake

Geonet listed the magnitude as 6.3.

The magnitude 6.3 quake struck at 7.38pm on Wednesday evening and was centred 50km northwest of Paraparaumu and at a depth of 50km. 

Geonet classified the quake as ‘strong’.

Geonet received 60688 people from the top the North Island to the bottom of the South Island report feeling the quake. The majority of those called the shake light.

In Tasman, Nelson like Marlborough and up through Wellington many felt a very severe jolt. In Richmond the jolt was sever and went on for about 15 seconds.

Facebook’s Tasman and Nelson pages had 100’s of comments and over 500 shares of the NZ Cicil Defence reporting the shake.

The National Emergency Management Agency had cleared any threats of a tsunami following the quake, while partner agencies and councils were checking for any superficial damage.

NZ Civil Defence Tweeted “Noah a big shake there!” Gave details of the quake and went on “It is already a really stressful time for people -  look after yourself and the people around you.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson said it had not been alerted to any incidents relating to the quake.

Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman.

Devastation in the North Island

Pictorial of Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation on the North

14 Feb 2023

Back road Bridge between Hastings and Napier being ripped in half

Pigeon Post News

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

MetService News Release

Cyclone Gabrielle still impacting some areas, easing by the end of today

14 Feb 2023

Covering period of Tuesday 14 - Friday 17 February

While some MetService Red Rain Warnings are lifting there are still several Warnings and Watches in place as severe weather from Cyclone Gabrielle continues throughout the day (Tuesday).  

Overnight and this morning, significant rain and wind affected large parts of the North Island, especially in the north and east with Tairāwhiti/Gisborne cut off.

“Napier Airport had its second wettest day on record with 175mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am this morning, “said MetService meteorologist Andrew James, “That’s more than three times the February average.”

“Wind gusts over 140km/hr have been recorded at many exposed coastal locations, but urban areas have been affected too with New Plymouth airport gusts reaching 128km/hr, “continues Andrew, “With wave heights close to 11 metres recorded off the coast of the Bay of Islands.”

All this wild weather has led to significant and widespread impacts across the North Island, with large areas without power or communications, major flooding and wind damage in many regions. Over 30 state highway closures and the shutdown of air, sea, and rail transport for much of the northern half of the North Island. Several communities and regions are isolated, and a National State of Emergency is now in force.

Today, rain begins to ease in the upper North Island, but continues in Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay until tonight, with rain also affecting the lower North Island and parts of Marlborough.

Andrew continues, “A continuing focus will be wind. We are still expecting gusts in excess of 120km/hr over parts of the upper North Island, Taranaki and central New Zealand, and warnings are still in place.”

Chatham Islands, lying 850km offshore from Christchurch, is expecting heavy rain and strong winds from this afternoon, with the system passing just to the north of them on Wednesday. This will be tied with large easterly waves, an unusual direction for the Islands.

Though Gabrielle takes a southeast track moving away from Aotearoa New Zealand from early tomorrow, the impacts from this event will be felt for much longer.

Looking farther ahead for the North Island recovery, Wednesday sees rain continue into the capital and a few showers around for central and northern North Island, though a dry break across Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Following that, there is some more wet weather from Thursday but apart from Wellington and Wairarapa most areas will see showers.

For the South Island, wet weather continues for Canterbury and Marlborough during Wednesday, dry elsewhere but a few showers in the far south. This continues on Thursday with an easing tread through the day.

Good news from James, “There is some light at the end of the tunnel – MetService is forecasting a ridge over the North Island bringing a spell of settled weather from this weekend onwards. There are still a couple of bands of wet weather to cross before then, so stay up to date with your MetService forecast.


Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman.

Tasman Search and Rescue Exercise valuable experience for participants — No trace of tramper missing for nine years


German tramper Christian Ulf Eric Prehn missing since February 2014 - Police file photo

No trace of nine year missing tramper in ‘Operation Prehn’ 

Tasman Policeman Senior Sergeant Mark Kirkwood has just completed leading a Search and Rescue Exercise ‘Operation Prehn’ in the St Arnaud area which went from 10 February to 13 February. The Police were accompanied by a team of search and rescue volunteers mainly from Tasman and Nelson. 

As part of the exercise they were searching in the remote area of the Nelson Lakes National Park, particularly the Travers Saddle alpine region, for the German tramper Christian Prehn, who went missing in February 2014, nine years ago.

Each district runs a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) each year and during the planning, Senior Sergeant Mark Kirkwood said they look for a challenging environment where teams could fine tune their skills, but also an area where there was a cold case so they could search for a missing person. In this case they focused everything at trying to find the remains of German tourist Christian Prehn. 

Christian Ulf Eric Prehn was last seen near Mt Travers in the national park in February 2014.  A 19-year-old from Germany, Prehn was in New Zealand on a one-year holiday and had been tramping the Travers-Sabine Circuit alone.

Mt Travers Nelson Lakes National Park

He was last seen by two trampers on 25 February 2014, after spending the night at Upper Travers Hut. The three met on the track below Mt Travers and discussed climbing it, commenting that it would be easiest to leave your pack at the bottom and return to it after summiting the maintain.

These two trampers were the last people to see Prehn alive. 

His backpack was seen by a further two trampers on the Travers Saddle who didn’t report it to authorities and the backpack was found again several days later by a Department of Conservation worker who alerted authorities. 

Location of Mt Travers and the Upper Travers Hut

Several extensive searches were conducted in the hazardous environment, but the Search and Rescue Operation found no sign of the 19-year-old.

During the recent search exercise an incident management team, including some volunteers, was based at St Arnaud, with field teams flown into the search area by an Air Force NH90 helicopter.

The exercise involved 60 personnel, members of LandSAR (Land Search and rescue NZ), CanyonSAR

(Canyon Search and Rescue Volunteers), and the Alpine Cliff Rescue team were involved in the exercise along with members of the Police with assistance from the New Zealand Air Force and Fire and Emergency NZ.

New techniques were also utilised during the exercise - a drone team was part of the search, a CanyonSAR team explored several creeks in the area, and the Starlink satellite internet system that kept the incident management team able to view footage live from the field, almost in real time.

Police had spoken to Christian’s family in Germany about the Search and Rescue Exercise and they were “blown away" at the resources that went into the recent Search and Rescue Exercise ‘Operation Prehn,’ but sadly no trace was found of their son.

Senior Sergeant Mark Kirkwood said  “The Police-led Search and Research Exercise ‘Operation Prehn’ in Nelson Lakes National Park has concluded. No items of significance were discovered relating to the disappearance of Christian Prehn in 2014. The exercise was a valuable opportunity for Police, LANDSAR, FENZ and NZDEF to work together to further develop search and rescue capability in the Tasman District.”

Mt Travers at 2338 metres is the second highest peak in the Nelson Lakes National Park, the mountain terrain has been described as treacherously steep, consisting of rock which readily fractures.The teams scoured areas that had not been searched before, and went over previous areas of interest.

The teams were trying extremely hard to find the slightest clue of Christian Prehn and were ready to change tactics as they searched if they found something of interest in the rugged area. 

The Department of Conservation records show that 50 people remain missing in the park, all have been solo trampers. The Department website has plenty of helpful information about tramping in the area, but it doesn’t outline how dangerous the area can be if trampers don’t stay on the tracks.

Police Media Centre

Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman.




Monday, February 13, 2023


 The worst of Cyclone Gabrielle to affect the country today

13 FEB 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle is bearing down on the North Island, and despite widespread damage and disruption last night and this morning, the worst weather is still to come for many regions today. 

MetService forecasters, in collaboration with local councils and Civil Defence, continue to update the Severe Weather Warnings pertaining to ongoing heavy rain and severe gale strength wind.  

“This is a major weather system and shouldn’t be taken lightly," explains meteorologist Angus Hines.  

“We have a couple more days of wild weather ahead. We’ve never had such an extensive range of Red Severe Weather Warnings – which are the highest classification of Severe Weather Warning MetService can issue.” 
Cyclone Gabrielle has been generating extremely strong wind about the upper North Island. Wind gusts have exceeded 130km/hr in parts of Auckland, and 150km/hr in exposed parts of Northland. Trees and powerlines have been damaged, as has people’s property, including rooves and outdoor furniture.  

As Gabrielle moves southeast in the next 36 hours, the angle of the wind across the upper North Island will change as they wrap around the moving centre, but the wind speed stays very high.  

Red Wind Warnings remain in force for Northland, Auckland, and the Coromandel Peninsula, and Taranaki’s Wind Warning has been upgraded to Red this morning. Orange Wind Warnings blanket all remaining North Island locations as well as the top half of the South Island, meaning wind damage is possible almost anywhere. There is expected to be a gradual easing to the wind late on Tuesday, and throughout Wednesday.  

Once again, northern parts of the North Island will be drenched by persistent heavy rain. Red Rain Warnings are active for intense rainfall over Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, and the north of the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne area.  

“All of these places have already dealt with immense rainfall this year, and lots of them are in clean up mode from recent flooding,” says Angus.  

“Unfortunately, we expect further flooding, slips power outages, and road closures Monday and Tuesday, prolonging this unprecedented wet summer.”  

Eastwards facing parts of the country – Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Kaikōura are all expected to get heavy rain as well and have Orange Rain Warnings in place with Gisborne on a Red Warning.  

While Gabrielle has been affecting the atmosphere, it is also having a major impact on our oceans. Enormous waves are battering eastern coastlines of the North Island, which may wash onto coastal roads and property, particularly about high tide (early this afternoon for those areas). Conditions can get dangerous quickly, and people are advised to steer clear of beaches.

Warnings in

Upper South Island:::-

2 Warnings in force for this location:

1/. Heavy Rain Warning - Orange

Period: 18hrs from 6am Tue, 14 Feb - midnight Tue, 14 Feb

Area: Eastern Marlborough south of Blenheim, including the Kaikoura Coast 

Forecast: Expect 100 to 160 mm of rain or more to accumulate. Peak rates of 10 to 20 mm/h.

Impact: Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.
Issued: 9:05pm Mon 13 Feb
Next update: 11:00am Tue 14 Feb

2/. Strong Wind Warning - Orange

Period: 15hrs from 6am - 9pm Tue, 14 Feb

Area: Marlborough, Tasman including Nelson, and Buller

Forecast: South to southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places.

Impact: Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
Issued: 9:05pm Mon 13 Feb
Next update: 11:00am Tue 14 Feb

Rain warnings on the left - Wind warnings on right

WARNINGS  Left Strong Wind Warning - Orange - Far Right Heavy Rain Warning - Orange

Cyclone Gabrielle

Cyclone Gabrielle is approaching the upper North Island. Impacts are already being felt across northern parts of the North Island, and are expected to spread south across the rest of the North Island through to northern parts of the South Island on Monday and Tuesday.

Based on the position and intensity of Gabrielle, this system poses a VERY HIGH risk of extreme, impactful, and unprecedented weather over many regions of the North Island through to Tuesday.

It is important to keep up to date with the latest MetService forecasts in case any changes are made, or further areas are added. Please follow the advice of local authorities.



Strong Wind Warning - Orange

Period: 15hrs from 6am - 9pm Tue, 14 Feb

Area: Marlborough, Tasman including Nelson, and Buller

Forecast: South to southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places.

Impact: Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
Issued: 9:05pm Mon 13 Feb
Next update: 11:00am Tue 14 Feb


Occasional rain easing in the evening but remaining cloudy. Strong southerlies, severe gale gusting 120 km/h in exposed places, easing this evening.

Issued 9:20pm Mon 13 Feb



Pigeon Post News Richmond, Tasman.


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