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Hail and thunder – a weekend of wild weather

News from MetService
Few places in New Zealand managed to escape the wild weather this weekend, as a complex low-pressure system moved slowly on to the country from the Tasman Sea. This system was very active due to support from strong upper level winds (jet-stream), which brought rain to most regions, thunderstorms to western parts of northern and central New Zealand, and significant snow to inland parts of the South Island.

“Some of the thunderstorms were identified as severe and warnings were issued, which included the thunderstorm that brought large hail and torrential rain to Wellington’s southern suburbs on Saturday afternoon. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in force for northern parts of New Zealand today, and damaging wind gusts are possible with these squally storms,” explains MetService meteorologist Peter Little.

“The most rain fell about the northwest of the South Island, South Canterbury and North Otago, but the heavy rain in the east of the South Island has eased. Oamaru Airport has recorded an impressive 81mm of rain so far this weekend, which is around double what they usually receive during the whole month of August. This rain caused flooding that closed State Highway 1 north to Timaru for a time on Sunday morning.”

“Further inland snowfall affected many of the South Island passes, with Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass closed for much of Saturday and Sunday morning after being blanketed by 30 to 40cm of snow.”

Severe Weather Warnings and Watches remain in place for parts of northern and central New Zealand. There is also the threat of thunderstorms today and on Monday, and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued this morning.

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