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A rash of thunder and hail storms have popped up over western parts of the North Island – the final surge of nasty weather for the west coast from the week long wintry storm that’s blasted the country.

Hail showers lasting well over 10 minutes have fallen over Auckland and in the past hour lightning strikes have doubled to around 550, most of them over the Waitomo area and north of East Cape.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says as the rough weather comes to an end in the west the cold air is now being felt.  “The strong winds can keep temperatures fairly constant but now that they’ve dropped so to has the mercury”.  It’s between 10 and 12 degrees in Auckland, 11 in Northland, 10 in Hamilton and 7 in Rotorua and Palmerston North.

“Heavy showers with isolated hail and thunderstorms will continue in the North Island’s west coast this afternoon and overnight but will ease early on Sunday.  Clear skies are quickly spreading northwards up the South Island’s West Coast as winds shift to southerlies”.

And as predicted those southerlies have seen a dramatic drop in temperatures along the nation’s east coast.  “It’s wet and cold in Canterbury today.  Just 6 degrees in Christchurch with rain and a southerly”.

The southerly is keeping temperatures well down over southern regions too.  It’s only 3 degrees in Wanaka and 5 in Queenstown”.

Cold, wet, southerlies are expected from Christchurch to Gisborne throughout Sunday, while western areas begin to dry out as a high from Australia approaches.



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