One of the most spectacular thunderstorms in years lit up the sky over Auckland during the night.

The system extended into southern Northland and parts of Waikato.

More than 1,000 lightning strikes an hour were recorded as the storms made landfall.

Weatherwatch.co.nz reports car alarms were set off by the booms of thunder in West Auckland.

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The weather is expected to clear later in the day.

Please send any photos of the storm last night to online-editor@nzherald.co.nz