Sur­prise storm hits north Franklin


A sud­den storm has sprung a sur­prise on Auck­land, with bar­relling thun­der, hun­dreds of light­ning strikes and large hail­stones thump­ing the re­gion on Tues­day.

There were 870 light­ning strikes recorded across the coun­try be­tween 11am and 4.45pm on Tues­day, with 370 of those in Auck­land, a MetSer­vice spokes­woman said.

A se­vere thun­der­storm warn­ing was in place for much of the day, but that was later down­graded to a watch, which was lifted just be­fore 7.30pm.

The large num­ber of light­ning strikes prompted NIWA to is­sue a warn­ing to get off the wa­ter.

The storm man­i­fested it­self in hy­per-lo­cal pock­ets, with some Auck­lan­ders not ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any of the rain, hail or thun­der that struck other parts of the city.

Karaka res­i­dent Kelly Newby said her house was pelted by a 30-minute hail­storm be­fore the sun came out again.

‘‘Its brilliant and sunny now but it came out of nowhere.

‘‘ It just pelted down mas­sive stones of ice.

‘‘It looked like it had snowed – ev­ery­thing was blan­keted in white.

‘‘They were re­ally big, not quite golf ball-sized but some near enough.

‘‘It came in re­ally thick, it was bang­ing on the wind­screen of the car win­dows and our down­pipe from the gut­ter­ing was frozen solid.

‘‘Our vege gar­den has been to­tally blown to bits, and our flower gar­dens have been pelted to pieces,’’ Newby said.

NIWA me­te­o­rol­o­gist Ben Knoll likened the pock­ets of ex­treme weather to pop­ping pop­corn.

‘‘Thun­der­storms in the at­mos­phere are kind of like pop­corn pop­ping in a mi­crowave.

‘‘You don’t know which ker­nel, or cloud, is go­ing to pop first.

‘‘It’s that ran­dom. When the ker­nel pops it’s kind of like the cloud bal­loon­ing up into the at­mos­phere and blos­som­ing out into a thun­der­storm.

‘‘It’s due to the un­even heat­ing of the land that we live on, some ar­eas are go­ing to get heated more than oth­ers and that leads to the desta­bil­i­sa­tion of the at­mos­phere.’’

NIWA prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist Chris Bran­dolino said these sorts of weather events are fairly com­mon at this time of year.

‘‘Spring is re­ally ev­ery­thing goes,’’ he said.

Karaka was pounded by a short and in­tense hail­storm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.