Updated 8:15pm — WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters are tracking torrential showers which are explosive in nature – producing violent downpours which have already lead to a damaging tornado today and to flash flooding in Nelson tonight.
As of 8:15pm an active band of thunderstorms was pushing into the western North Island, north of Taranaki There are many thunderstorms in this band of rain and it is slow moving.
The risk for serious flash and surface flooding is considered “very high” with this front but any flooding is expected to be in pockets rather than widespread.
WeatherWatch.co.nz has issued a Storm Alert for TE KUITI, TE AWAMATU, HAMILTON and surrounding areas for the next two hours as the front slowly moves in.
WeatherWatch.co.nz is still monitoring the progress of the front and further Storm Alerts may also be issued for Auckland and Coromandel Peninsula, to raise attention to the incoming bad weather as it still evolves out at sea.
Torrential rain returned to Tauranga and surrounding main centres tonight – however latest satellite maps show it clearing slowly from the north.
MetService has issued numerous official thunderstorm warnings today – you can find latest watches and warnings on their website.
Downpours may be torrential and could lead to localised flash flooding and major surface flooding.
There is a moderate to high risk of isolated funnel clouds (which are usually non damaging) and the chance of an isolated, small, but damaging tornado. Damaging localised downdrafts may also occur (producing similar damage as small tornados).
Residents are advised to stay indoors during these downpours.
In saying that, it’s important to put this into perspective – while the risk of a tornado may be high, the chance of one hitting your home is not. Most of NZ is marine or rural.
As we’ve been saying all weekend, WeatherWatch.co.nz still believes the primary focus should be on flooding caused by torrential showers.
The showers are hit and miss but are now becoming widespread as they rapidly develop.
WeatherWatch.co.nz issues Storm Alerts to heighten awareness of incoming dangerous weather.
on 21/04/2013 7:55pm
At around 12pm, just minutes before the thunderstorm arrived here we had a very fast rotating, very low, black cloud that came right over our house. It failed to form a tornado but it was a chilling thing to watch! Trees all started blowing about in weird directions.
This would have been not long after Raglan one hit maybe – we are on the eastern slopes of Mt Pirongia, 15km SW of Hamilton as the crow flies. And around 20km as the crow flies from Raglan.
on 21/04/2013 8:04am
Yes you are correct in the forecast of this storm.
Incredible lightning and thunder appears to be sometimes rumbling and then a clap right overhead to the extent the house vibrates.
One thing aobut the lightning is that it is putting nitrogen back into the soil.
on 21/04/2013 7:34am
Biblical rain in Tauranga 7:30 pm. Council are going to have a busy day tomorrow!
on 21/04/2013 5:46am
17.45 It is still very quiet in Paeroa. Dark clouds all around us but no wind no rain.
on 21/04/2013 5:12am
So very still in New Lynn North. Clouds are barely moving. The gentlest breeze blows. Makes a change from the very gusty stormy afternoon weather.
on 21/04/2013 4:42am
You are not wrong boys, a little late perhaps for Hamilton. Very heavy rain with lightning started about 1 pm. Only time I have seen rain like this was on the Sunshine Coast.
Rain eased now but still hearing thunder in the area. Very unstable
on 21/04/2013 3:58am
Some decent falls here near Nelson though only briefly heavy. Just had a couple of rumbles of thunder to the North East. Mostly calm with occasional Easterly gusts. Should total up to some handy moister from Friday to Monday.
on 21/04/2013 4:51am
I take that back. Prolonged heavy falls now. 36mm in the past 90 minutes. Active TS’s. There will be surface flooding in the usual spots.