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Thunderstorms moving across western NZ tonight

Thunderstorms are tonight moving into western parts of New Zealand, mainly Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Nelson and the West Coast – watch for squalls, sudden torrential downpours and a low risk of tornadoes (EF0 or EF1 rating).

Waikato and Waitomo are also at risk of thunderstorms this evening, although severe ones are not expected.

As of 9:30pm conditions had eased in Taranaki but more thunderstorms are expected overnight as the centre of the Tasman Sea low moves towards the South Island.

Video: Watch Philip Duncan talk about the big change in our weather pattern that’s about to sweep in

Downpours could cause surface and flash flooding and winds may cause localised damage to buildings, trees and powerlines.   Please note we expect any potential wind damage to be isolated.

Risk eases in Taranaki overnight, but remains for West Coast on Saturday.

Monitor the thunderstorms here.

For the majority of residents in these regions we expect heavy showers which shouldn’t be out of the ordinary or cause serious issues however this advisory is to raise awareness of severe weather in these regions. 

During thunderstorms our advice is to remain indoors until the storms have eased.

Motorists are advised to prepare for sudden torrential downpours which may briefly severely limit visibility and watch for possible debris on the roads.

– Homepage image / Simon Williams



Sam on 13/05/2011 11:38pm

What I find intrigueing is that since the Albany tornado, weather forecasters now include tornado warnings in their forecasts, they never used to.

WW Forecast Team on 13/05/2011 11:48pm

Hi Sam, it’s probably more of a reflection of this weather pattern we’ve been in this month. has often mentioned the risk of small tornados in the past, but to be honest many of the ones that have hit NZ have come with little or no warning.  It’s probably about time the weather industry, of which we are part of, started treating them a bit more seriously and give a more advanced heads up when we have the right conditions.  Don’t want to cry wolf either so always a fine balancing act.

– WeatherWatch Weekends

Rachel Jennings on 13/05/2011 8:23am


Just noticed an increase in activity on the free lightning tracker round Canterbury. Anything to do with the storms round Nelson and the West Coast?

WW Forecast Team on 13/05/2011 8:37am

It’s possible there may be a flicker or two around Canterbury but it may just be the detector inaccurately scattering a few readings as it triangulates where the storms are.

– WW

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