10 Jan 2013

Plenty of lightning over South Island

7:10 pm on 10 January 2013

The MetService detected more than 15,000 lightning strikes over the South Island in the past 24 hours.

Lightning sparked six fires in Canterbury and Central Otago overnight on Wednesday.

Duty forecaster Hordur Thordarson said 15,000 strikes is a lot, with the average for a 24-hour period closer to 100.

He said warm air from Australia is mixing into the atmosphere, making it unstable and triggering the storms.