At 7:30 this morning it was at 1244 strikes per hour but in this update, it’s more than doubled – 2746 lightning strikes in the last 60 minutes alone, mostly offshore along the North Island’s west coast but they’re heading our way and will make landfall shortly. The lightning (see the Weather Watch Centre’s lightning radar) is associated with yet another active cold front that is moving across the country. Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says many in the west are in for another stormy 24 hours. “This front is going to bring thunderstorms, hail, heavy downpours and gusts of well over 100km/h for some exposed regions, including Auckland”.
Duncan says several active bands follows again tonight ensuring another 24 hours on the weather front across the North Island’s west coast. “Taranaki to Waitomo will be most exposed but Manawatu, Wanganui, Wellington and Auckland will also see some pretty hefty showers, hail and squally thunderstorms”.
A BITTERLY COLD WEEKEND
Another weaker front is expected overnight tonight, continuing to fuel the winter weather. “If you think it’s been cold these past few days, just wait until the weekend. While skies will be clearing for many the winds will be swinging south or south east, bringing bitterly cold air straight into New Zealand’s east coast”. Duncan says because that air will have to travel over snow capped mountains before it reaches the north, it will remain very cold for typically warmer places such as Auckland and Whangarei”.
“This will be a cold weekend with highs along the east coast of both islands, from Dunedin to Gisborne mostly around 7 to 9 degrees.”
Yesterday Christchurch had a high of 17, tomorrow it is expected to hover around 7 or 8.
SEE STORY BELOW from South Island Weather Analyst Richard Green.