MetService: Unstable conditions affect much of the country today with thunderstorms possible in many areas, especially the west of both islands.
– See WeatherWatch.co.nz’s Live & Free Lightning Tracker
An active front containing embedded thunderstorms over Buller this morning sweeps over the North Island this afternoon and evening. To the north of this front, a trough near Waikato and west of Auckland contains heavy showers which may turn thundery prior to the frontal passage later today. To the south of the front, a cold upper trough with heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms is spreading onto the lower South Island.
The highest risk of storms today is with the front in western areas from Buller to Taranaki, including the Outer Sounds, northern Wellington and Horowhenua Kapiti Coast. Thunderstorms in these areas are expected to bring heavy rain of intensity 10-25mm/hr and squally wind gusts reaching 110km/h.
Additionally, there is a lesser risk of small tornados or waterspouts in coastal places.Further north, there is a moderate risk of thunderstorms as far north as Auckland and across to Taupo and Bay of Plenty, bringing locally heavy rain and gusts reaching 90km/h (especially in the west). Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and Northland have a low risk of thunderstorms today.
In the cold air behind the front, isolated thunderstorms are currently occurring in Fiordland and there is a moderate risk of these continuing into this afternoon and spreading to Westland and Buller this afternoon and evening. These storms may bring brief heavy rain and small hail.
Finally, there is a low to moderate risk of storms from North Otago up through the Canterbury coast and Plains this afternoon as winds turn southwest. Any storms that do eventuate have the potential to produce localised heavy rain and hail of diameter 5-15mm.
on 24/03/2010 9:21am
Yes, it would be quite interesting to see exactly where the thunderstorms were located. For instance, for me in Parklands, Chch, I could see the threatening clouds hanging around the Port Hills and heard thunder in the distance but only received a few spots of rain. So even though it may get reported that Christchurch had thunderstorms, not the whole city experienced them, and you wouldn’t really say Christchurch is a huge city!
on 24/03/2010 7:21pm
im living in opawa and it seems the storm was concentrated over the port hills side of the city, whereas the nothern and eastern side had little or no rain or hail..was even sunny near the coastal burbs!
on 24/03/2010 6:24am
just had a 25 minute thunderstorm with plenty of lightening and small hail..very cold now at 9deg..but biked home in sunshine an t shirt at 6!
on 24/03/2010 4:56am
It is interesting to compile a chart like this and find out where the actual thunderstorms did occur.
In the past, the chart has had risks shown for thunderstorm activity and it was obvious the such activity would not occur.
People must realise that this is chart for a risk, not actually where thunderstorms may occur.
At the moment there is ovbious thunderstorm activity occuring in an area I call “Thunderstorm Corner” inland around the MT. Somers area, so I must go.
on 24/03/2010 5:55am
Just posted a couple of photos of approaching thunderstorm….saw one flash of lightning to far SSW of city…currently 17 deg and light wind from SSW