Near continuous thunder, hail, dramatic forked lightning and a towering black and ominous cloud kicked off the start of a short and sharp thunderstorm over Auckland this evening and while conditions have eased in some areas they are now only just starting in others.
Auckland is a large region and further thunderstorms, some squally with hail and torrential rain, will move over parts of Auckland tonight – and into Tuesday morning.
“Thunderstorms tend to ‘breathe'” says WeatherWatch.co.nz on their Facebook page. “By that we mean they grow and shrink, grow and shrink. In this case it started to shrink right on landfall in Auckland. More coming in behind it so the risk remains all evening”.
Thunderstorms are now pushing into Northland and eastern Waikato where conditions were clear and calm a short time ago.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says it’s possible thunderstorms will continue to push east into Rotorua and Bay of Plenty.
However the attention remains on north western New Zealand as a cold change moves up the Tasman Sea.
Despite some parts of Auckland only receiving a short, sharp dose of thunder more storms are lining up in the Tasman Sea. “It’s too early to know where they will exactly end up later tonight but western areas of the North Island are certainly at risk tonight” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
There was an unconfirmed report of a funnel cloud over the Manukau Heads as the front came in. WeatherWatch.co.nz said this morning that while the risk for tornados in Auckland wasn’t high it couldn’t be ruled out either. A funnel cloud is the beginning of a tornado but only becomes one once it touches down.
The Lightning Tracker at WeatherWatch.co.nz peaked at over 3200 lightning strikes per hour around 5pm, but by 7pm had dropped to just over 1000 per hour.
Despite the tapering off WeatherWatch.co.nz says more isolated thunderstorms are likely overnight and the risk for isolated pockets of severe weather remains.
Residents are advised to stay in doors during thunderstorms and motorists are advised to be prepared for sudden limited visibility in squally conditions. Hail may also make driving hazardous and could damage glasshouses and cars should thunderstorms become severe.
WeatherWatch.co.nz first issued a Storm Alert for thunderstorms and potentially dangerous weather at 5pm with MetService issuing a Severe Thunderstorm Watch nearly an hour later at 6pm.
“A line of thunderstorms over the sea may come onshore over Auckland this evening. These storms are likely to be accompanied by wind gusts of 100 to 120km/hr and hail of 10 to 25mm in diameter. Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous. Large hail can cause significant damage to glasshouses and vehicles, as well as make driving conditions hazardous” said MetService.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says not all residents within the upper and western North Island will be affected by thunder or severe weather but are advising people to remain aware of conditions around them over the next 12 hours (until dawn Tuesday)
on 11/07/2011 7:31pm
We got hit pretty hard with extremely stong wind in whitianga from about 1.30am (tue morning) it was so loud and strong for about half hour then it would go quiet for awhile before it started again, no thunder or lightining just massive wind and rain.
on 11/07/2011 7:43am
Raining at the moment, not heavy but interfering with the signal on freeview (TV). Cant hear any Thunder. And no hail at this time.
on 11/07/2011 7:43am
Still heavy raining here in Auckland but I can still listen to cops running around in chasing people in this horrible whether hope they know whats going on now stay safe Auckland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on 11/07/2011 7:41am
here in Ngongotaha – Rotorua and raining quite heavily at times
on 11/07/2011 7:41am
Is it going to be in wellington / wainuiomata or do you think that it will reach that far…
What is happening to the world a few days ago it was sunny and now lately its been yuck weather and the rain among our heads is loud especially when were trying to sleep… 🙁
on 11/07/2011 8:07am
More of an upper and western NI event for tonight.
on 11/07/2011 7:38am
Nothing to report here….sighs….. only abit of gusty wind…
on 11/07/2011 8:48am
Still no rain, just very gusty winds. I am looking forward to a good storm.
on 11/07/2011 7:16am
MASSIVE Lightning FLASH and deafening CLAP right overhead in Huia about 30 minutes ago!! House was SHAKING like an Earthquake…..
on 11/07/2011 6:54am
Looks like round 2 is starting in Waitakere township Constant thunder as we write