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Front inching across North Island, thunder predictions remain varied

UPDATED 4:55pm — A slow moving front continues to inch across the North Island this afternoon with some heavy showers forming across the island, but as alluded to yesterday the chance for thunderstorms is a bit hit and miss, and late this morning the weather news authority reduced their predicted risks for thunder in western coastal areas, including Auckland, from moderate to low for this afternoon.

However earlier this morning MetService went the other way – shifting the risk to high for much of the North Island.  As of 4:45pm they remained with the high risk for thunderstorms across much of the North Island.

Only a few thunderstorms have been detected today, most offshore around Northland and in recent minutes around the Gisborne region.

But doesn’t entirely disagree with MetService.  The heating today will certainly increase the risk of thunderstorms inland – along with heavy downpours late this afternoon and early evening. says the risk is generally low for most main centres.

The issue for a large area like Auckland was that the incoming rain band, and the angle of it, made it narrower than Auckland city itself.  That meant any weakening would dramatically reduce rain – and that’s exactly what happened this afternoon and was the reason we had only moderate confidence yesterday.. 

In the past 60 minutes the public Lightning Tracker at has detected just 80 lightning strikes around the entire country mostly around offshore Northland.

Putting thunder aside and the bands of rain are just as heavy as we predicted yesterday – with the risk for surface and localised flash flooding possible across most North Island regions today, especially inland and slightly northwest areas. 

Some areas may not see rain for a few hours later than earlier predicted, due to the incredibly slow movement of the front.




phil smith on 14/02/2012 3:22am

Hi Phil, Phil here from Levin,. Looking north towards shannon very dark blue sky and looking west big califlour clouds, could this be the begining of some storm build up. Temp 23.2 dec and very humid, lets hope so as the everning progreses.

Glenda on 14/02/2012 1:24am

Just had two big showers slide past to the north and south of Kerikeri missing us completely. No rain here for last 31 days so are hoping for a direct hit soon. Being out the the east coast it looks like much of it will fall inland or south of us.

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