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Thunderstorms, downpours, approach upper North Island

Another band of thundery rain/showers is approaching the western North Island from Taranaki to Northland, including Auckland and brings a high risk of thunderstorms and localised flooding – plus that tornado risk..

This next band of rain and shower activity contains a “high” risk for thunderstorms, a “moderate to high” risk of surface flooding and a “moderate” risk of isolated flash flooding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Taranaki – then later Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and Central Plateau.

Meanwhile MetService has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the upper North Island.  A watch usually indicates the ingredients are there for a warning to be issued – a warning confirms a severe thunderstorm exists.  As of 4pm no thunderstorm warning was in place.

The government owned forecaster says the watch affects people in the following weather forecast districts: Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Waitomo, Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua, Taranaki.

“This afternoon and into the evening severe thunderstorms are possible with gusts of 120 to 130 km/h and isolated tornadoes are possible, mainly in coastal areas. Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous. If any tornados occur, they will only affect very localised areas” says a MetService forecaster.

While forecasters still deem the risk for tornado/waterspout development as “high” for these regions (and BOP) we still stress that the chance of property damage as a result of one forming is considered “low”. However the risk does slightly lift for those right on the Tasman coastline.

New Zealand’s only public lightning tracker – shows a surge of activity west of Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Taranaki this afternoon. believes there will be “waves” of heavy showers coming in tonight, with long dry spells in between that may last a number of hours.

The second main band of the day is now moving into the western North Island.

As Tuesday progresses showers should become more frequent but shorter lived and these regions will have a “moderate” risk of thunderstorms and a “moderate to high” risk of isolated hail showers.



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