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1100km stretch of thunderstorms
Risk for Tornadoes
High risk for flash & surface flooding
High temperatures today but turning bitterly cold by Wednesday
Snow in the south
A big Autumn storm is continuing to build strength in the southern Tasman Sea today with the first rain band expected to make landfall across the nation’s west coast tomorrow.  Radio Network’s head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the storm will affect all regions across New Zealand.  “Heavy rain will start over the South Island’s west coast tomorrow, spreading into the North Island tomorrow afternoon and night.  Rainfalls may be torrential in some areas with thunderstorms likely, creating localised flash or surface flooding”.
Duncan says a huge band of thunderstorms in the Tasman Sea stretches well over 1100kms.  “While they are often much bigger out at sea, it does show that this storm is packed with energy”.
According to MetService the thunderstorms may also lead to small tornadoes across the South Island’s west coast but Duncan believes there’s a risk for tornadoes in western areas of the North Island. 
“This is a weather event that all New Zealanders should pay close attention to.  Take heed of the warnings and keep up to date with the latest thunderstorm warnings” says Duncan.  All warnings can be found at
The heavy rain is expected to dump around 50mm of rain across the Waikato according to the Weather Watch Centre, supporting Duncan’s theory that their winter could be a very wet one this year thanks to La Nina.  “We could be going from droughts to floods.  Farmers need to be prepared for possibly a very wet winter”.
Meanwhile eastern areas of both islands won’t escape the blast.  “It’s a stunning day for many in the South Island today with our South Island weather analyst, Richard Green, recording a temperature of 28 degrees in Christchurch this afternoon – quite possibly a record breaker for this time of year”.  But he says the warm weather has only another 24 hours to go before the first big cold snap of 2008 moves up the country.  “The low will be anchored off the sou’east coast of the South Island and will likely deepen further on Thursday creating giant swells at sea and a biting southerly that will bring snow to low lying areas and highs only in the single digits”.
The Weather Watch Centre will closely monitor this storm with regular updates over the next several days.



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