Severe weather and heavy swells on the way for the Wellington region

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) is urging coastal residents in Wellington and the Wairarapa, as well as anyone planning to travel around the region, to be aware of the severe weather and heavy swells expected from 1pm tomorrow.

MetService has issued Heavy Swell Warnings for the Wellington South Coast from Cape Terawhiti to Turakirae Head, and the Wairarapa Coast from Turakirae Head to Mataikona from 1pm Thursday with each area seeing combined wave heights of seven metres, easing on Friday morning.

WREMO Regional Manager Jeremy Holmes says there are a number of overlapping weather watches and warnings including heavy swells, severe rain, strong wind and snowfall in store for tomorrow.

“We are encouraging residents to be aware of these hazards and take extra care while travelling around the region tomorrow, particularly when driving around coastal roads that have been impacted by swells in the past, such as Owhiro Bay and Breaker Bay in Wellington, and Mataikona Road and Cape Palliser Road in the Wairarapa.

“Heavy Swells could also see a rise in water levels within the Wellington Harbour which could cause debris and sea spray making for hazardous driving conditions in Petone and Eastbourne.

“Though we don’t expect any property inundation in any of the affected areas at this stage, we are likely to see debris such as driftwood, sand and gravel on coastal roads in Wellington the Wairarapa and Lower Hutt,” Holmes says.

MetService also have a Heavy Rain Watch in place for the eastern hills of Wellington and Wairarapa South of Featherston from 7am-7pm tomorrow, a Strong Wind Warning in place for Wellington and the Wairarapa from 1pm-10pm tomorrow, and a Road Snowfall Warning in place for Remutaka Hill Road (SH2) from 9am – 3pm tomorrow.

“We encourage residents across the region to watch out for surface flooding and keep up to date with the latest information on watches and warnings by visiting the metservice website and the WREMO facebook page. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide information on any further potential impacts as they come to light,” Mr Holmes says. 

For more information on warnings visit