Major thunderstorm hits upper North Island

Power has been restored to about 400 Auckland homes which were temporarily cut off during the recent bout of stormy weather.

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Lines company Vector said about 400 Mellons Bay customers had lost power at about 8.30am when windy conditions caused vegetation to knock over power lines.

The problem was fixed just before 11am, a spokeswoman said.

Overnight, stormy conditions had also resulted in rolling thunder and heavy rain across upper half of the North Island.

Weather Watch said over 1160 lightning strikes were recorded from 1am to 2am, mostly between Whangarei and Auckland.

One Herald Online reader also captured the Sky Tower being struck by a bolt at about 3am.


Philip Duncan of Weather Watch said a vein of thunderstorms had formed down the centre of Northland just after midnight.

"This weather is dangerous stuff. If you hear thunder stay indoors,'' he advised.

Fire Service northern communications shift manager Scott Osmond said there had been between 15 and 20 weather-related calls since midnight in Auckland.

"They were little bits of minor flooding in the Auckland isthmus area.''

In Tauranga, gusty winds had lifted tiles from about 3 homes in the suburb of Hairini, Mr Osmond said.

MetService duty forecaster Larissa Marintchanko said overnight thunderstorms across Auckland, the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty often brought "squally gusts", which caused problems for residents.

Wet weather had resulted in about 52 mm of rainfall in Auckland overnight, she said.

Both MetService and Weather Watch expected the stormy weather to have eased by this afternoon.

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