Weather: Thunderstorms, possible tornadoes for most of North Island, sunshine for south

It's a mixed bag of weather for Aotearoa this weekend.
It's a mixed bag of weather for Aotearoa this weekend. Photo credit: Newshub / Getty Images.

The settled weather across much of Aotearoa is coming to an end, with one region in the firing line for severe localised downpours. 

Some areas of the country have a low risk of small tornadoes, according to meteorologists on Friday. 

A "weak unstable northerly flow" is blanketing Te Ika a Māui/the North Island, bringing a chance of showers, rain and possibly thunderstorms to most areas on Friday and Saturday. 

Meanwhile, parts of Te Waipounamu/the South Island will get plenty of sunshine this weekend, despite the odd shower. 

Hawke's Bay 

Te Ratonga Tirorangi MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Te Matau a Māui/Hawke's Bay from 6pm until midnight Friday. 

Downpours of 25 to 40mm/h could hit between Wairoa and Takapau, as well as the urban areas of Ahuriri/Napier and Heretaunga/Hastings. 

"Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips," the forecaster said. 

Drivers are asked to watch out for surface flooding and to take care with poor visibility in heavy rain. 

Localised heavy rainfall could possibly hit the region again on Saturday, but it is set to clear for a fine Sunday. 

Thunderstorm Forecast 

Possible thunderstorms could be widespread across these areas from Friday afternoon onwards:

  • Northland/Tai Tokerau (low risk) 
  • Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (low risk) 
  • Great Barrier/Aotea (low risk) 
  • Coromandel/Waiaua (low risk) 
  • Bay of Plenty/Te Moana a Toi (moderate risk) 
  • East Coast/Tai Rāwhiti (moderate risk) 
  • Tararua (low risk) 
  • Taranaki (low risk) 
  • Whanganui (low risk). 

"Heavy showers with locally heavy rainfall rates of 10 to 20 or 25mm/h can be expected in all these North Island areas from afternoon." 

Tornado Outlook 

There's a low chance of tornadoes for most parts of Te Ika a Māui/North Island, mainly in the same regions as above where there's also a risk of thunderstorms. 

"A few funnel clouds are also possible, along with a low risk of one reaching the ground and producing a small localised and brief tornado," said Te Ratonga Tirorangi/MetService. 

South Island

There's a low risk of thunderstorms and rain about Te Tai Poutini/West Coast on Friday afternoon, as well as for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chathams tonight. 

The odd shower remains for northern parts of the island, but that's as far as the bad weather goes for the south. It'll be mostly fine all weekend long, with the odd shower and cloudy period for: 

  • Queenstown/Tāhuna 
  • Dunedin/Ōtepoti 
  • Invercargill/Waihōpai 
  • Timaru/Te Tihi o Maru  
  • Christchurch/Ōtautahi 
  • Wānaka
  • Oamaru/Te Oha a Maru 
  • Alexandra/Manuherikia. 

Conditions for next week appear to be more settled, with inland areas across the country set to see warmer temperatures.