It was a rough night for many from Taranaki to Auckland last night with thunder, gales and hail storms keeping many awake. Local newspapers in Taranaki are reporting lightning cut power to 4000 Waitara residents while trees were also blown down. An incredible electrical storm saw almost 1500 lightning strikes in just 60 minutes early last night and as of 7:30 this morning the Weather Watch Centre’s lightning radar had counted 851 strikes in the past hour right across the North Island’s west coast.
“It’s going to be another stormy 24 hours along the west coast of New Zealand. A few squally thunderstorms remain between Taranaki and Auckland but they are now easing. Gale force winds are gusting to 100km/h in Auckland and they could increase to 120km/h during the day” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
Strong winds are being felt in many areas across the North Island this morning however apart from Southland, the South Island remains relatively calm.
“There’s another front coming through tomorrow morning which will see more heavy showers, some with hail right along the nation’s west coast and inland to the central divides. A biting cold south westerly, still reaching gale force, will affect most of New Zealand”.
Duncan says conditions wont start to significantly ease until Sunday or Monday, but it’s going to remain very cold for most places.
A high pressure system should see good weather for ski fields from Monday to Wednesday next week along with heavy frosts across the country.