Auckland, Taranaki battered by large, spiky hail in 'epic' storm

Auckland and Taranaki have been battered by large hailstones with a unique jagged, spiky shape.

Wild thunderstorms whipped much of the country on Monday, with strong gusts and heavy rain forcing many indoors. Tornadoes have also been reported in Auckland and New Plymouth, leaving containers in the ocean and tearing roofs off buildings.

Large hailstones have also pelted Auckland and Taranaki, with many Kiwis finding they have a distinct jagged shape.

One resident of Henderson, Auckland sent Newshub pictures of hailstones about 50mm long with spiky edges. The stones had torn through the man's shade sail on Monday night in what he described as an "epic hail storm".

Auckland, Taranaki battered by large, spiky hail in 'epic' storm
Photo credit: Supplied.

Many photos of the hail were also shared on Twitter.

"Hail in Avondale just now, think it's the biggest I've ever seen," said one user, who also posted photos of the unique hail stones.

"Those were some chunky hailstones just now in Henderson, Auckland," said another.

WeatherWatch said on Monday evening that it had also received photos of the "large jagged hail" which it said had come from "thunderstorms that have tracked off the Tasman Sea and into Auckland. Earlier today it occurred in Taranaki".

The weather forecaster explained that the "squally weather is being produced by an enormous area of low pressure all over and around NZ".

"Often in NZ our hail is small and round but some thunderstorms can produce jagged hail as the frozen precipitation bounces around in the towering clouds, joining with other hail which may be melting and refreezing in the chaotic up and downdrafts inside these squally downpours.

"It's also a reason why planes do their best to avoid them, due to the mechanics of strong winds inside these clouds."

WeatherWatch says that more hail, thunderstorms and gales should be expected on Tuesday night before easing on Wednesday.