Chance of small tornadoes in north, heavy rain in east for much of North Island, upper South Island

Last Updated on 19/06/2021 by

MetService says there is a “low risk” of severe thunderstorms with small tornadoes in Northland on Saturday evening, and in Northland, Great Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula before dawn on Sunday.

Heavy rain is forecast for much of the North Island’s east coast and for the east of the top of the South Island at various times through to Monday.

A tornado is thought to have been responsible for the death of one person and injuries to two others at Ports of Auckland’s freight hub at Wiri in south Auckland on Saturday morning.

Heavy rain is expected in many eastern parts of the country during the weekend. (file pic)


Heavy rain is expected in many eastern parts of the country during the weekend. (file pic)

MetService meteorologist Andrew James said damage in parts of Auckland on Saturday morning was likely caused by a tornado.

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Tornadoes form during thunderstorms, and a lightning strike was recorded over Auckland about 8am Saturday, while 25mm of rain was recorded at Auckland Airport between 8am and 9am, James said.

Overall, MetService recorded about 1500 lightning strikes in the six hours to 9am, but the strike recorded over Auckland was the only one over land. All the rest were over the sea, nearly all out to the east.

Late morning Saturday a few lightning strikes were recorded over Bay of Plenty, but most continued to be over the sea to the east of northern parts of the country, James said.

Containers were toppled after the tornado in Wiri, south Auckland on Saturday morning.


Containers were toppled after the tornado in Wiri, south Auckland on Saturday morning.

“This system as it continues to move south is bringing heavy rain to the likes of Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne today, then into tomorrow Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and coastal parts of Marlborough, and possibly north Canterbury.

“So it’s really a wet weekend ahead for many New Zealanders,” James said.

MetService said winds could gust to 90kmh or 100kmh during any overnight Saturday thunderstorms in Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty.

Rainfall intensity could reach 30mm an hour during thunderstorms in Bay of Plenty overnight, MetService said.

Peak rainfall intensities could also reach 30mm an hour with possible thunderstorms in Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Other areas at risk of the heaviest rain included southern Wairarapa for 24 hours from late morning Sunday, and Kaikōura from early Sunday until Monday evening.

Other places with a chance of heavy rain included Northland and Coromandel Peninsula overnight Saturday, the hills and ranges of Central Hawke’s Bay and Tararua on Sunday through to mid-afternoon, Marlborough north of Ward in the 24 hours from late morning Sunday, and north Canterbury north of about Amberley in the 24 hours from 9am Sunday.

Winds could gust to 100kmh about the bottom of the North Island and Marlborough Sounds at times on Sunday or Monday.

Rain is expected to be heavy in Auckland early Sunday, and to get heavier in Wellington from Sunday afternoon.

A raincoat would be a good idea for those heading to the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final in Auckland on Saturday night.

Christchurch is forecast to have patchy drizzle from Saturday evening, then rain or drizzle on Sunday.

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