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Violent thunderstorm rocks Auckland, tornado danger

A violent thunderstorm has this afternoon moved across Auckland bringing fork lightning, torrential rain and funnel clouds.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says almost 750 lightning strikes have been detected in the past 60 minutes and that strike rate is rapidly increasing.

“The frontal band is moving across Auckland and into Taranaki, Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.  We believe there is a high risk of cloud to ground lightning strikes and a risk of isolated tornadoes.  We advise people to stay indoors until the thunderstorms have passed”.

“If you see a tornado the safest thing to do is get into a small room on the opposite side of the house.  Keep windows closed and stay away from glass”.

In the past thunderstorms have created small tornadoes that have lifted roofs, smashed windows and felled trees in regions such as Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Waikato and Taranaki.

If you’re not a fan of thunderstorms then you might not like what’s to come.  “This is a big, slow moving low.  It took 24 hours longer to reach Auckland so we expect it will take another 24 hours before conditions ease.  Bands of heavy showers will be mixed with sunny spells too, which will warm the land and increase the risk for further thunderstorms”.

MetService has today issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Taranaki, meaning a warning may be issued this afternoon.


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