Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Thunder, lightning in the forecast

The region could be in for a dramatic few days filled with thunder, lightning and heavy rain forecast

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research’s [Niwa] forecasting branch, Niwa Weather, has shown a high likelihood of lightning strikes in the Tararua Range today.

Meanwhile, Metservice has issued a heavy rain watch for the Tararua Range from 1pm today until midnight.

Metservice said to expect periods of heavy rain in the ranges, with rainfall amounts possibly approaching warning criteria.

Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency [NZTA] warned drivers to take care on the roads because the wet weather clashed with the end of the Easter holiday.

The chance of lightning hitting the Wairarapa Valley was predicted as low from yesterday to Wednesday, according to Niwa Weather charts. Metservice’s thunderstorm outlook said a front would move eastwards over central New Zealand early this morning, with a band of rain and possible thunderstorms.

It said an unstable northwest flow would follow the front.

The meteorological service said was a moderate risk of thunderstorms associated with the front about Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, eastern parts of Auckland and Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo and northern Gisborne hitting before dawn.

“These thunderstorms will produce localised heavy rain of 10 – 25mmh, hail, and squally wind gusts of 90 to100kmh. There is also a risk of a small localised tornado, mainly near the coast.”

However, there was only a low risk of thunderstorms hitting inland Wairarapa this morning.

The unstable north or northwesterly flow is set to cover New Zealand this afternoon, bringing bands of rain, showers and thunderstorms.

The possibility of thunderstorms will remain for Wairarapa until this afternoon and could linger until the middle of the week.

NZTA said drivers should be ready for unexpected hazards: “Heavy rain can cause localised flooding and bring down slips”.

As bad weather can close highways at short notice, drivers should check road conditions before they travel.

“Road users must drive to the conditions and ensure they keep themselves and others safe,” NZTA said.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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