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Wow, another hot one!

Plus:  Widespread Thunderstorms today?

A very hot, humid, night for the North Island last night with a moist nor’west flow becoming more intense over the northern half of New Zealand.

Late last night temperatures were still over 25 degrees in Hawkes Bay with 24 in Whangarei and 22 in Auckland.  Humidity levels in our biggest city were over 90% last night making for a ‘feels like’ temperature close to 30 degrees according to

But while many in the North Island may have had an even worse nights sleep than Thursday a cool change is on the way for the North Island tonight. 

That cool southerly change arrived in the lower South Island yesterday.  Invercargill only made it to 16 while Dunedin, on 26 in the afternoon, dropped to 11 degrees by 6pm.  Parts of Canterbury went from the lower 30s to mid teens by evening as the front moved through.

The south west change will bring rain to much of the North Island and upper South Island today.  Dry parts of the North Island’s east and holiday spots in Coromandel and the Bay of Islands should also receive a period of rain but the Weather Watch Centre doesn’t expect high rain totals there.


New Zealand’s government forecaster, MetService, has issued several Thunderstorm Watches for much of the country today.  Both the South and North islands are possibly in for a rumble as the mixture of cold and hot air occurs amidst unstable weather conditions.

They point to northern New Zealand and eastern parts of the South Island as being the higher risk areas.

Here at the Weather Watch Centre we have some conflicting weather data but we agree that conditions are unstable today, as we pointed out in our stories yesterday. 

So, will thunderstorms affect you today?  Keep track of the latest lightning strikes with our fantastic Lightning Detector link – click here!

We’ll update again later this morning tracking the movement of the front and all the current temperatures.


Did you sleep better or worse last night?   Post a comment below!


Matt on 3/01/2009 1:50am

I know that Invercargill arn’t ment to get thunderstorms today but what would be the ingrediants for a large summer thunderstorm to ever happen down here?


WW Forecast Team on 3/01/2009 2:05am

I’d say the best set up for you is a strong sudden southerly.  Often you’ll get thunderstorms from that – as the cold air mixes with the warmer air ahead of it.  Quite often you’ll get that in winter.   As far as Summer goes, you’d probably need a humid westerly I think.  To be honest I’m not 100% sure as I don’t know the Southland area too well (one of the only regions I haven’t yet visited!).  A humid westerly could produce some thunderstorms…if conditions were right a northerly could possibly do the trick too if it was mixed with an unstable atmosphere.


Guest on 3/01/2009 1:23am

Hey WeatherWatch!

I live in Whangarei. Whats the forecast for my area today/tonight?

SW on 3/01/2009 12:54am

All SW changes bring here are Gales,8/8 Overcast skies and annoying continual Showers (at first).Like this hot weather though,unfortunately good things end….

JohnGaul on 2/01/2009 9:55pm

I slept very well last night. Much cooler with minimum down to 9.1C.
Nice lightning displays to the west last night from 10pm beore the SW change went through.

Regarding todays thunderstorm activity around Canterbury/Otago conditions do look favourable from indicators so I would suggest, protect plants etc.

Whether it will affect the One Day International at the AMI stadium, today, I’m not too sure but I could forcast hail the size of cricket balls flying around the area ! He-He.

NZ Thunderstorm Soc

Michelle on 2/01/2009 11:14pm

Thanks John. I have taken a few precautions just in case…

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