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“Continuous thunderstorm” and big hail storm hits Southland

A thunderstorm that has been rattling homes across Southland for the past 45 minutes is set to continue for a while longer as a low deepens just off the coast sending unstable weather conditions across the region.

Invercargill Weather Watch reporter Malcolm Gayfer says it’s been non stop since just after 1pm.  “It’s been a continuous thunderstorm for the past 45 minutes.  If it was night time it would be a spectacular display”.

And in the past few minutes Malcolm says a huge hail storm has started.  “This is the most sudden and heaviest hail storm I have ever seen in Invercargill in the 20 years I’ve lived here”.  The hail storm was so loud it drowned out our interview with him on the phone.

Tomorrow a cold sou’wester will kick in with Invercargill predicted to have a high of just 12 or 13 degrees and a low of around 6 according to

Malcolm Gayfer says they are still waiting for summer to start.

Hail the size of “Jaffas” fell across parts of Southland around 2pm today.  Image / Tracy Kilkelly says the region has had strong or gale force winds every week since October and no immediate end is in sight.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the unstable weather pattern this summer is having the biggest impact on the South Island’s western and southern coastlines.  He says it may be February before conditions start to ease for Southlanders and even then there is no guarantee. 

“We need to see more anticyclones moving in from southern Australia to bring a settling of weather conditions to the South Island.  So far this Summer the highs have been in the northern Tasman Sea which has fed changeable weather across the lower North Island and the entire South Island.


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