Weather: Red severe thunderstorm warning lifted for Wellington area

  • Updated
  • 16/06/2024

A red severe thunderstorm warning has been lifted after it was issued around Wellington.

Earlier on Sunday, MetService said its weather radar detected severe thunderstorms near offshore Mana Island, Wellington, and Wellington Airport.

They were moving towards the southeast, and expected to lie near Wellington, Porirua, Offshore Wellington South Coast, Palliser Bay, and Baring Head at 5pm before reaching the Southern Remutaka Range and Palliser Bay at 5:30pm.

"These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by very heavy rain, possible tornadoes and hail," MetService warned.

"Very heavy rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.

"Tornadoes can blow out windows, lift roofs, break large branches off trees, generate dangerous flying debris and blow vehicles off the road.

"Hail can cause damage to crops, orchards and vines and may make driving conditions hazardous."

Auckland, Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty on thunderstorm alert

It comes as a swathe of the upper North Island is being warned of potential thunderstorms and torrential rain on Sunday night.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Auckland, including Great Barrier Island, Northland, the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, with an active trough expected to pass quickly southeast on Sunday night and Monday morning.

"This evening, a moderate risk of thunderstorms develops in the north of Northland, and spreads southwards, reaching Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula at night," MetService said. 

The forecaster said there is potential the thunderstorms could bring small hail and a low risk of coastal tornadoes.

People in these areas are also being warned of localised downpours with an intensity of 25-40mm per hour. 

"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," MetService said.