13 Aug 2017

Thunderstorms due to lash northern regions

8:18 pm on 13 August 2017

A thunderstorm watch for northern parts of the country has been lifted, after a spectacular lightning-and-thunder display.


Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

MetService warned earlier this evening there was a high risk of thunderstorms tonight over the northern North Island, as well as eastwards into Taumarunui, Taupo, western Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Peninsula.

But it said the risk of severe thunderstorms from Waitomo northwards had now passed.

Social media users reported hearing thunder in Auckland so loud it rattled buildings, during an intense thunderstorm lasting nearly an hour.

MetService had forecast up to 30mm of rain per hour.

"Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface flooding or possibly flash flooding and make driving hazardous."

The agency also forecast wind gusts of up to 90km/h - enough to damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures.

There was a lower thunderstorm risk for the rest of the North Island.