A dramatic drone image has captured the moment a fierce thunder storm smashed into Auckland this afternoon.

Thunder, lightning and hail rocked the city of sails today as motorists were warned to drive carefully and that wild weather could cause power cuts.

Severe thunderstorms battered parts of the city on Tuesday providing some impressive viewing for residents lucky not to be caught in it.

Sky View Photography chief operator Andrew Underwood took a stunning photo of a thunderstorm looming over the city from his home in Howick looking towards the west at about 4.30pm.


Underwood said the thunderstorm was localised and it was actually calm and sunny in Howick when the photo of the cloud formations was taken.

"This local area of thunderstorm activity had some really heavy rain and some really interesting clouds so I got the drone up and took a photo," he said.

"It had been brewing for several hours. So from early afternoon it had been moving from West Auckland towards East Auckland. So there was remarkably heavy rain over the central city and it crossed from the West Coast out to the Hauraki Gulf early afternoon."

Photo / Jon Bowden
Photo / Jon Bowden

It was not long after the photo was taken that locals in the eastern suburbs of Howick, Pakuranga, Botany and Burswood were caught in the inclement weather, which struck late afternoon.

Farian Days, who lives in Burswood in East Auckland, said the "crazy storm" struck around 5.20pm and was still going 30 minutes later.

Rain started bucketing down in Waitakere between 1pm and 2pm — accumulating 22.6mm, according to MetService.

MetService meteorologist April Clark said a bit of heat at surface level helped fuel the thunderstorms.

Earlier this morning waterspouts were reported in Auckland's Waitematā Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf as Waiheke Island was battered by a fierce thunderstorm.

Photo / Jon Bowden
Photo / Jon Bowden

A lingering low pressure system over the North Island today was responsible for rain over the North Island, according to MetService. A ridge of high pressure would form tomorrow before weakening away later this week.

Vector has also warned there could be more power outages than normal due to the thunderstorms and lightening thrashing the city.

NZTA earlier urged drivers to take care due to the wild conditions.