Thunderstorms threaten Bay of Plenty

Posted at 2:48pm Friday 12 Jan, 2018

The areas in orange indicate thunder and showers, and red indicates thunder. Photo:

A loud night looms ahead for some residents in the Bay of Plenty, with thunderstorm warnings issued across the region from this afternoon.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams says a majority of the the central North Island can expect thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

“There's a risk of thunderstorms for most of the central area, with some areas being under severe thunderstorm watch from this afternoon until tomorrow morning.

“The difference with those that are under a severe watch is that these areas can expect hail and heavy downpours of up to 40mm per hour.”

Areas under severe watch include Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Waikato, Taupo, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Taihape, Manawatu and Tairua, says Tom.

“Bay of Plenty is also covered under this warning, but this is centralised to areas such as Rotorua and towards Taupo.

“Areas along the coast however are excluded as the sea breezes tend to keep these storms away.”

He says while coastal areas such as Tauranga and Whakatane are not including in the severe weather watch, the region can still expect some thunderstorms and showers.

“There is still a chance it might get noisy in areas such as Tauranga or Whakatane, but the intensity is mainly in those inland areas.

“These areas may also get a downpour of about 10-25mm of rain.”

On top of thunderstorms, wet weather is also expected for some areas of the country as humid air passes over the North Island from Tasmania.

“Warm air when it reaches New Zealand loses it's moisture in the form of rain.

“That's looking as if it is going to hit us around Tuesday. When that weather approaches we're also going to get strong winds ahead of it.”

He says the low pressure system must form on this front, so until that happens it is unclear as of yet where the worst of the weather will hit.

“How it's looking at the moment is we are going to get north-easterly gales and there is a reasonable chance that could affect the Bay of Plenty around Wednesday.”

He says people in the region should keep a close watch on the forecast over the next few days.

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