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Towering clouds building over Auckland, upper NI

Impressive clouds are again capturing the attention of Aucklanders, those in Waikato and other upper North Island residents as afternoon heating and high humidity continue to work together.

In Auckland a slightly breezy nor’easter has pushed cloud developments west and south of the CBD, leading to huge cloud build ups over land.

One especially large cloud currently lies to the north west of Auckland, around Murawai / Kumeu area.  It’s so large it’s now spreading eastwards despite an easterly wind, which late this morning shifted the cloud build ups from over the the CBD to over the Waitakere Ranges. 

Twitter user NL2NZ told head weather analyst Philip Duncan they can see a rotating cloud – or funnel cloud. says while funnel clouds are likely today, tornados are not – but due to the instablity cannot be completely ruled out today or tomorrow.

Even larger cloud build ups and downpours are affecting the south east and south of Auckland.  Pukekohe currently has a very large cloud build up over the Bombays with torrential rain falling in places. slightly lowered the risk for the thunder in the city today but says the risk for isolated heavy downpours remains the same – high.

It’s currently 25 degrees in Auckland and Hamilton with humidity between 60 and 70% –’s humidex calculator says the feels like temperature, out of the wind, is at least 30 degrees.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the slow movement of the weather today means that any torrential downpours could quickly lead to surface flooding on streets and highways and flash flooding in small creeks and drains.

“On one side of the shower it could be brilliantly sunny and calm but underneath the shower clouds there may well be rainfall rates well in excess of drain capabilities which can lead to sudden flooding – motorists especially should be prepared for sudden and significant changes in driving conditions in the south and north west of the city this afternoon”.

Yesterday received a couple of reports of minor flooding on the North Shore at the same time as the waterspout passed the CBD.

Further south today and big showers are building across Waikato too – mostly in the west and south.  Taranaki also has heavy showers developing this afternoon.

But says more action is likely tomorrow – which the weather news authority has been predicting all week.

“The low itself is almost non-existent now but the humidity and instability remains.  Tomorrow we’ll see the left over centre of this low drift across the upper North Island bringing more torrential downpours and a slightly greater risk of isolated thunderstorms, mixed in with sunny, hot, blue sky spells”.

And what about that tornado risk?  Yesterday’s conditions were certainly more favourable for them, even though the risk yesterday was generally low.  Today it is even lower but the chance of funnel clouds is certainly there.

While we don’t expect any tornadoes or waterspouts today we can’t rule them out either – confidence of one forming is less than 10% today.

And if you love this weather then you might like the forecast for next week. expects a fairly large high to our east next Tuesday and Wednesday to help pull in hot, humid, air from the tropics or sub-tropics over the country – and in the east it may be turned into a nor’wester.  “This may be our first shot at seeing more places reach the 30s and may also increase the chances of thunderstorms”.

We’ll keep you posted on this potential hot spell next week.

– Image / Big clouds to the north west of Auckland viaTwitter user N2LNZ

What are conditions like where you are?  Have you heard thunder?  Is it raining where you are? Post a comment below!



Guest on 17/02/2012 1:23am

very humid here, rain falling heavily now, some thunder has been heard, no lightning, very heavy cloud build up

Bugsmama on 17/02/2012 12:32am

Living in Bayview Auckland we’ve had dark cloud building to the west of us with thunder for the last half hour. It seems to be very slow moving. No rain or lightening yet. At 7mths old this will be Bug’s first thunder storm lets see if she sleeps through it.

WW Forecast Team on 17/02/2012 12:36am

Thanks for the update and lets hope she does sleep through it 🙂


Bugsmama on 17/02/2012 1:10am

No joy, she’s up. Real dark here now but thunder has reduced. Still not had any rain.

Guest on 16/02/2012 3:34am

Its been rumbling for an hour in Putaruru. Now its pouring. Lots of lightning too. Very exciting. Still very humid tho.

Guest on 16/02/2012 3:22am

without any luck…
have tried on 3 different computers with the same issue on all.
it says 0 Strikes Total, and if you hit Run on the loop clock, it doesn’t show a time at all.
is this working ? want to see lightning today on the tracker if possible!!

When clicking on the AUckland link under the lightning tracker, it says 2 total strikes, but it alwasy says 2!

WW Forecast Team on 16/02/2012 3:36am

Hi there – you’re right, it doesn’t seem to be working properly.  We’ve emailed those that run the tracker to see what’s happening.

In the mean time you can see where the big cloud builds ups are on the MetService rain radar


Guest on 16/02/2012 4:58am

Success! It is working now. THanks heaps!!! 😀

Remco remmelink on 16/02/2012 3:11am

Here in Paeroa I see big dark clouds in the distance, for the rest it’s sunny and hot. Not much wind

Guest on 16/02/2012 2:58am

From northern fringes of Papakura thunder is audible. No precipitation, yet! Cloud cover is however building…..

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