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Thunderstorms rattle upper North Island

Thunderstorms rattle upper North Island early Sunday morning

An active front crossed northern New Zealand early Sunday morning, bringing rain to much of the North Island and thunderstorms to northern regions. MetService Meteorologist Peter Little comments, “There were 841 lightning strikes recorded over the upper North Island early Sunday morning, with the bulk of them occurring in Northland (560) and Auckland (207). The front responsible for triggering these storms was very active, and over 13000 lightning strikes were detected over the waters surrounding the upper North Island in a 12-hour period.” There’s a risk of further thunderstorms for northern New Zealand today and on Monday, see the latest Thunderstorm Outlook for details.

Meanwhile, a cool southerly flow over central and southern New Zealand meant many places struggled to make it into the teens this weekend. Little says, “Kaikoura recorded a high of just 9.2°C on Saturday afternoon, which is nearly 5 degrees below their average for September.”

The cool weather also prompted Road Snowfall Warnings to be issued for some higher roads, and snow briefly closed the Desert Road during Sunday morning. Further periods of snow may affect the Napier-Taupo Road, Desert Road and Porters Pass in the coming days. See the latest Road Snowfall Warnings for details.

The outlook for the start of the working week is for rain to return to northern New Zealand, and a Heavy Rain Watch has been issued for Coromandel Peninsula and western Bay of Plenty. For the remainder of the country we expect the cool temperatures to persist, with mostly cloudy skies and isolated light showers in the east, while western places should remain mainly fine.

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