THUNDERSTORMS SKIRT AROUND NORTHLAND
– HOWEVER THREAT OF HEAVY SHOWERS NORTH OF TARANAKI
– AND GOODBYE RAIN, HELLO SNOW…SOME ROADS MAY BE AFFECTED
Fears of further tornadoes appear to be abating this afternoon as severe thunderstorms skirt around Northland and Auckland, mostly missing land. “There have been dozens of lightening strikes in the past hour or two but 90% of them have been offshore” says Philip Duncan. “They came very close, but most of the severe weather has luckily missed land this time”. But he says we’re not out of the woods yet. “Some heavy rain clouds are currently moving across the Hunua Ranges south of Auckland, the Hibiscus Coast and Coromandel. Then later this afternoon and evening the back end of this system will pass over. There is a risk of heavy thundery showers, some with hail, in western regions from Taranaki to Northland”. He says the conditions for forming tornadoes are easing by the hour and after midnight the risks will be significant lower.
Mr Duncan advises that this is a timely reminder for everyone to have a ‘safe room’ in there house for conditions like this. “While having so many tornadoes at once is rare in New Zealand, it isn’t rare to have them. Most years a mini twister will damage houses and properties somewhere across the country”.
He says advise about opening windows on sheltered sides of the house is simply wrong. “All that will do is allow damaging winds to enter your house. Don’t go near the windows. Opening them will not save your house from damage”.
Taranaki residents should still monitor the latest weather conditions as the threat of squalls will remain until later tonight.
And snow is again making headlines as it falls to low levels across the South Island. Some towns are struggling to reach above 4 degrees, while at 2pm it was 2 degrees in Dunedin. TRN’s Weather Watch Centre is predicting snow is likely to fall on SH2, over the Rimutaka Ranges, SH1 the Desert Road and possibly SH5 the Napier Taupo highway. Drivers should be aware of the icy conditions.