Cows killed by lightning in dramatic storm

A Waikato farmer is in shock after four cows were struck and killed by lightning in the dramatic storm that swept across the North Island on Tuesday morning.

James Miles, who works on a farm at Te Kowhai on the outskirts of Hamilton, came across the grisly find.

"We were milking the last row and had a joke about getting picked up and taken home because we might get struck by lightning, so we had a little chuckle about that and we carried on our way," he said.

He said his boss left on quad bike to go home and called about five minutes later to say turn the power off as four cows had been struck by lightning.

Mr Miles said it was a shock to see the cows.

"It was an unreal feeling thinking that could of easily been myself or my boss if we had left 15 minutes earlier," he said.

According to Weather Watch, there were 872 lightning strikes between 6:30am and 8:30am across New Zealand.

Watch the video of the sight which greeted farmers on a Waikato farm during the lightning storms.