Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Lightning strikes twice

More thunderstorms could be on the horizon for an already flooded Wairarapa.
The region has been hit by multiple thunderstorms in recent days, with locals reporting a lightning strike on Sunday that left a tree stump aflame and charred.
Metservice’s predicted thunderstorms over much of the North Island developed as forecast yesterday afternoon, resulting in flash flooding across Wairarapa.
“From central Waikato to the central high country of the North Island, across to Central Hawkes Bay and south to Wairarapa, some of these thunderstorms may become severe this afternoon to early evening and produce localised downpours with intensities of 25mm to 40mm per hour.”
Today, Metservice said the region would see showers in the morning, turning to rain in the afternoon and evening.
It said there was a possibility of heavy rain and thunderstorms this afternoon.
A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for the region yesterday, but it expired at 7pm last night.
Metservice said heavy rainfall up to 40mm per hour could cause surface and flash flooding, especially in low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys.
It said the heavy rain could also lead to slips.
“Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain.”
Metservice said there was low confidence for warning amounts of rain in the Tararua Range on Sunday.
National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research [Niwa] said unsettled weather was expected to continue for the next week as nearly daily showers and thunderstorms were likely to happen in many areas, particularly in northern and central portions of the island.
It said the most widespread rainfall was likely to land today.
Niwa said because of the expected rainfall, substantial soil moisture increases were likely in large swaths of the North Island, although only slight changes may happen along the east coast.

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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