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Hundreds of lightning flashes are being recorded this evening as an intense low pressure system in the southern Tasman Sea moves onshore.  A strong but short lived electrical storm ratteld Wanganui around 7pm and reports of lightning have also come in from Wellington. 

According to the Weather Watch Centre’s lightning radar lightning strikes have dramatically increased in the past three hours.  “We’ve gone from 40 flashes an hour to 330 an hour and that’s increasing by the minute” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  In the 15 minutes it’s taken to update this story that number has risen to 401 strikes an hour”.

Western areas from Wellington right through to northern Taranaki are currently reporting thunderstorms with other western regions expected to follow suit overnight and during Wednesday.

“The outer bands of this storm are now moving into Auckland and in the past hour we’ve seen winds of 100km/h in exposed regions during squally showers”.

Mr Duncan says the eye of the storm will make landfall somewhere along the South Island’s West Coast tonight.

Last night the Weather Watch Centre predicted the risk of small tornadoes along the nation’s west coast and tonight One News confirmed a report of one in Taranaki.  Mr Duncan says strong winds and the risk of small tornadoes could cause damage but damage should be isolated.  “This system is very organised but only pockets of damage are expected.  Damage could include fallen trees, lifted roofs and fallen powerlines”.

Mr Duncan says small tornadoes damage properties along the nation’s west coast every year from systems like this and while people shouldn’t be too worried they should at least be prepared.

And while the attention is mostly focused on the North Island tonight eyes will be shifting to the South Island during Wednesday evening as a bitterly cold southerly moves in.  Snow is expected to relatively low levels and farmers should be aware that bitterly cold winds and snow could cause stress to new born animals.

Mr Duncan says a bitterly cold south easterly will stay with the South Island for a number of days with snow flurries and cold winds expected to last right through until Sunday.


WHAT’S IT LIKE WHERE YOU ARE?  Keep us up to date with the conditions in your town!  Share conditions at your place by adding a comment to this story!


Guest on 14/01/2009 9:33am

the lighting in pukekohe is amazing, me and my neises have been watching it 4 a hour now , first time i have ever seen it mainland bit scary but amasing

Daniel E on 22/07/2008 10:42am

From around 9:00pm, there’s been distant flashes and rumblings heard in the distance here on the North Shore. Going by the lightning strikes page, it’s all south auckland/north waikato at the moment and heading in a NE direction.

As of 10:30ish, it seems to be calming down which is a bit of a dissapointment. Was hoping that it was going to get closer to AKL central.

Hopefully there will be some good thunderstorms over Auckland tomorrow night (please??). 🙂

Alison on 22/07/2008 10:21am

Currently been striking just south of the bombays. Feeling let down that it didn’t come further north. Would have loved another good storm (lightning knocked out our power in Papakura on Saturday morning for a few hours)

Brendan Pratt on 22/07/2008 5:12am

Whats the outlook for Tauranga overnight and tomorrow? I am hopping thats there a chance for a bit of thunder 🙂 . At 5:30pm there is some blue sky and large black clouds light wind, the rain has stopped at the moment.

WW Forecast Team on 22/07/2008 6:44am

Showers becoming heavy tonight – could be a flash or two of lightning.  Tomorrow afternoon looks a little more violent…could be some strong wind gusts too, but most of the severe weather will be near the "eye" of the storm, which will pass over Central NZ.


Philip Duncan.

CAMERON on 22/07/2008 1:24am

How bad is auckland going to get hit with the weather over the next few days?

Brendan Pratt on 22/07/2008 1:22am

Its 1:00pm and its raining, the day started cloudy and very dark. The rain started to come in at about 9am, and it has got heaver as the day gone on. Now at 1pm the rain has eased and there is little wind.

Brendan Pratt

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