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Torrential showers and Severe Thunderstorms on the cards for today

Northern New Zealand is directly in the firing line for more thunderstorm activity and more heavy showers today predicts

As a weak low falls apart off the west coast of the North Island the humid remnants, coupled with afternoon heating, will help create more spectacular cloud build ups – possibly more than Thursday afternoon.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says there will be a mix of blue skies and black clouds.  “If you imagine the entire upper North Island as a frying pan with popcorn ready to pop that’s pretty much how today is set weather-wise.  The risk covers the entire northern half of the North Island, the only problem is working out which kernel of corn will pop first”.

He says the ingredients are there but again it won’t become entirely clear which areas will be worst affected until the day progresses further.

“The problem with the upper North Island is that it is incredibly narrow, so even a gentle sea breeze can shift thunderstorms from popping up in Auckland to popping up in Waikato”.  

Monitor the thunderstorms using New Zealand’s only public Lightning Tracker

Mr Duncan says inland areas will again be most at risk.  “Waikato, Northland, Central Plateau and parts of the Auckland region are again most at risk”.

And at the time of writing this story MetService had “high” confidence of thunderstorms across much of top half of the North Island and “moderate” confidence of severe thunderstorms in all those regions too.

Regardless of if thunderstorms form, says cloud builds up will produce more torrential downpours, and due to the slow movement of these systems, it can cause both surface and flash flooding which pose dangers to both motorists and the general public outdoors.

“If you hear thunder today you’re best to stay indoors until it passes” says Mr Duncan

Severe thunderstorms are the most violent type of thunderstorms we get, which is why they have their own special warnings.  While usually fairly isolated to a small area they can produce potentially deadly weather conditions such as lightning strikes, flash flooding, large hail and even tornadoes. 

Each severe thunderstorm is different and when a warning is issued MetService and Civil Defence list the potential threats and map where the storms are tracking. will have more coverage later today.


Help us track the storms – do you see thunderstorms building?  Let us know about it!  Drop us a line by posting a comment below!


Guest on 17/02/2012 10:23am

This is from North shore..Forrest Hill area..
I hear thunder for about two hours now.. and i see very dark clouds too..
May have some rain tonight??

Guest on 17/02/2012 1:50am

Best position to catch all this is from Auckland Airport lookout, spectacular lightening show from the storms in and around Auckland City, moving slowly towards the Manukau area, as well as a view of the forming storms over the Bombays and Manurewa. Massive bolt of lightening close to Roscommon road in Wiri about 10 minutes ago too. Beautiful stuff!

WW Forecast Team on 17/02/2012 1:52am

Thanks for the heads  up for the best location!


Guest on 17/02/2012 1:40am

Very heavy rain and thunder in Mount Wellington

Sophia on 17/02/2012 1:10am

Thunder in Papakura – no lightening yet, was spectacular last night!

WW Forecast Team on 17/02/2012 1:50am

Thanks Sophia and you might see another lightning show yet.



Guest on 17/02/2012 12:15am

crashing sound of thunder just sounded across Auckland CBD near viaduct – couds darkening behind blue skies

Leanne on 17/02/2012 12:12am

Just had heavy run and a rumble of thunder in Manurewa

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