More than 100 lightning strikes have been recorded in Auckland as a thunderstorm moves over the upper North Island.

Videos online show bolts of lightning hitting the Sky Tower in Auckland's CBD, while thunder shook people's houses.

The storm has now weakened and is sitting off the Bay of Plenty coastline, after moving through Taumarunui, Taupo and the Coromandel Peninsula.

Lightning striking the Sky Tower, seen from Stanley Point on the North Shore. Photo / Sander Goos
Lightning striking the Sky Tower, seen from Stanley Point on the North Shore. Photo / Sander Goos

MetService recorded 137 lightning strikes in Auckland this evening, not including some smaller strikes that weren't registered.

Advertisement

Waikato and the Far North also had their share of lightning. But despite fears the storm would bring warning levels of heavy rain, only one spot reached severe thunderstorm status - the Waitomo District settlement of Awakino.

The isolated settlement got 26mm of rain in an hour and 49mm over three hours, MetService meteorologist Andy Downs said.

Severe thunderstorms involve rainfall of 25mm or more per hour, hail over 20mm, or gusts of 110km/hr.

Photo / Matthew Davison
Photo / Matthew Davison

Over the lower North Island, there was a moderate risk of thunderstorms about Kapiti and northern Wellington until later this evening and a lower risk about Manawatu, Horowhenua and southern Wellington, MetService said.

Any thunderstorms would bring small hail and bursts of heavy rain.

The same weather system that caused tonight's electrical storm is likely to produce more thunderstorm action tomorrow, particularly south of Auckland down to Taranaki, Downs said.

"It'll get going during the afternoon there, and there's a bit of risk around parts of Wellington, northwest Nelson, the Marlborough Sounds and Kapiti," he said.

"We've also got a watch out for significant rainfall in parts of Canterbury which will not be very welcome down there."

Areas above 600m could get "decent" amounts of snow, especially Porters Pass and other high passes, he said.

"So it's continuing to be a fairly volatile winter mixed with milder spells - which are the driving force behind this thunderstorm."

A flurry of lightning strikes in the west as a thunderstorm begins moving over Auckland. Image/NIWA
A flurry of lightning strikes in the west as a thunderstorm begins moving over Auckland. Image/NIWA