Severe weather warnings remain in place for most of New Zealand. As a strong west to northwest flow covers central and southern New Zealand, gale west to northwest winds continue affecting many areas.
Today, Monday 18 September, Canterbury high country areas are on a severe wind watch as west to northwest winds may approach severe gale in exposed places.
Yellow wind watches for the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch ended Sunday night.
Across the country, 240km/h winds have been recorded on the East Coast of the North Island, nearing the strongest-ever wind gusts recorded across the country.
Gusts reaching up to 200km/h were recorded in the Canterbury high country. Folks online, particularly X, formerly known as Twitter, compared the winds to earthquakes, with some unable to tell the difference.
The winds have impacted flights nationwide, with Air New Zealand cancelling all flights into Wellington on Sunday. Atarere Interislander ferries were also cancelled. Bluebridge ferry customers are set to face rough conditions as their services continue.
Reports of vehicles affected by the strong winds remind those on roads to take care. A campervan rolled into a ditch on Mount Cook Road at 1.50pm Sunday and a caravan went into a bank on Tekapo-Twizel Road about 1.45pm. There were no major injuries.
The highest-ever wind strength recording in New Zealand was 250km/h, MetService said.