A lightning strike shattered the windscreen of a car in Northland leaving the occupants shaken but uninjured.

MetService meteorologist Andy Best said a "train of lightning strikes" passed across Northland's west coast at Baylys Beach between 12.45pm and 1.15pm yesterday.

"Everything lit up in front of us in a split second and then there was a bang at the exact time the windscreen was shattered," Brittany Woodman-Haynes said.

"I've never seen anything like it ... it was terrifying."


The 26-year-old was the front seat passenger in the 1997 Ford Laser GL driven by her partner Stephen Traill. Their two children Isabella, 5, and Hunter, 2, were in the back seat.

They were on Hood Rd near Aranga, 34km northwest of Dargaville, and just one minute from home when the lightning strike hit about 12.45pm.

Woodman-Haynes said there had been thunder and lightning in the area when they had set off to the local gas station to get pies and some cigarettes.

Isabella had been sleeping but the loud bang woke her and she began screaming.

Traill slowed to about 15km and Woodman-Haynes said she held her arm over her face to shield her eyes as they slowly drove home and bumped up a rough road to the farm where they live.

The family moved from Wellington to Northland two weeks ago and were loving the mild winter temperatures and weather until yesterday.

Traill is a farm assistant on a dairy farm while Woodman-Haynes is relieve milking, calf rearing and looking after two young children.

The car is her only transport and she was trying to urgently find a replacement windscreen.


Today's weather forecast was for a fine day with northerly breezes with the mercury expected to rise to 18C. Tomorrow the outlook is not so good with rain expected around noon with cloudy periods and chances of a shower later in the day.

Strengthening northerly winds would turn westerly in the afternoon. The story was pretty much the same for Kaitaia, Paihia and Dargaville.

The marine outlook for Northland coastal areas was rising Sunday morning northerly 35 knots with very rough seas, changing Sunday evening westerly 25 knots.