Weather: Funnel cloud swirling above Northland stuns onlookers

A funnel cloud hovering above Northland stunned onlookers as it ominously swirled in the sky.

Thunderstorms battered parts of the North Island on Sunday, including a severe warning for the Bay of Plenty. Up in Northland, rain has been hitting the area for much of Monday - and the ominous grey conditions even produced a funnel cloud.

Northlander Anna Pascoe said her husband, son, and his friend were out cruising off Bream Bay when they saw the spectacle as a thunderstorm approached.

"My husband also reported that, just after he cast his soft bait rod, he experienced a mild electrocution," she told Newshub. "His rod was sparking and he had to drop it in the water. He said his hand was mildly burnt. He couldn't explain it … It was very odd."

Footage shows the skinny funnel cloud swirling down from dark grey clouds.

MetService said on its website that some tornadic systems such as funnel clouds, waterspouts, and small land-based tornadoes are possible with thunderstorms that may not be classed as severe. 

Weather: Funnel cloud swirling above Northland stuns onlookers
Photo credit: Supplied

The weather comes after Kiwis woke to bone-rattling temperatures on Monday. MetService told Newshub the coldest place in New Zealand was Manapouri Airport, near Te Anau, with the temperature dropping to -4C at 7am. Slightly further north, Pukaki at the airport and Tekapo both had very chilly temperatures of -2C at 8am. Queenstown Airport, at 5am through 9am, and Timaru at 7am were only slightly warmer at -1C. The average minimum temperature for Queenstown in June is -0.4C and for Timaru it's -0.1C.

MetService meteorologist Alwyn Bakker told Newshub the temperatures were "nothing really out of the ordinary", but parts of the South Island are starting to hit negative overnight temperatures.

"It's been pretty cloudy for those major centres in the North Island, which kept the temperatures up overnight, and Christchurch and Dunedin also got periods of cloud overnight, which stopped it from dropping too low," Bakker said. 

But it's not the end of the cold weather. MetService meteorologist Andrew James told Newshub Kiwis will need to get the blankets out as temperatures are meant to drop even further later in the week once the front currently moving over the country passes. 

"It's going to be cold for most places, but about normal for this time of year. Later in the week, as that ridge comes over and the cold air hangs around, we actually see temperatures drop a little more overnight," he said.

James warns parts of the South Island, like Alexandra, can expect a chilling -4C on Thursday and Friday night. 

"So once we have high pressure, clear skies, light winds, that's when we get our coldest temperatures overnight rather than during the actual cold outbreak," James told Newshub. 

"While the system is here, there is still cloud overnight, still wind overnight and that stops things from getting too cool."

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