Lightning has struck a plane as the wild weather heading for Auckland batters the country.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said that while a flight from Wellington to Dunedin was diverted this morning due to a lightning strike, aircraft were designed with this scenario in mind.

According to MetService, in the North Island predominately around Welllington and Taranaki there have been 111 lightning strikes this morning.

While in the South Island there have been about 1200 in the past 24 hours.


Wild and wet weather wreaked havoc this morning, flooding many parts of Wellington as the capital was hammered by gusts of up to 117km/h.

Police are advising motorists on State Highway 5 that high winds are currently affecting the area while a campervan on its side is blocking southbound lane about 2km south of Te Haroto.

"This partial blockage may remain for some time until the winds subside and the campervan can be removed," a police spokeswoman said.

The campervan is partially blocking the road. Photo / Supplied
The campervan is partially blocking the road. Photo / Supplied

MetService meteorologist Andrew James said the active front was now slightly east of Great Barrier Island, which was still experiencing a few lightning strikes.

"There is still a risk of some thunderstorms this evening and tonight" but they would be localised, he said.

Meanwhile, Vector readied power crews in Auckland as the active cold front carrying a band of heavy rain charged quickly north towards the City of Sails.

MetService has advised a period of strong winds is expected in Auckland this afternoon, with gusts over 70km/h possible and winds that may approach severe gale in exposed places.

Vector's Head of Network Field Services Marko Simunac said Vector was keeping a close eye on the weather and has readied crews to respond to any power outages.


"As always, our objective is to do this as quickly as, while ensuring the safety of our crews and the public," he said.

"We remind people to stay away from damaged electrical equipment and report issues by phoning us on 0508 VECTOR."

Simunac said that if the weather caused any power lines to come down, Vector would remotely shut down power to that area as a public safety precaution until crews arrive on site.

"All lines should be treated as live at all times. If you see any damaged power equipment or power lines down, please keep a safe distance away and report it to us as soon as possible on 0508 VECTOR."

Vector advises that regular planned network maintenance over the coming days could be rescheduled if crews were required to respond to prolonged outages caused by the weather.

Steps you can take to be prepared

• Stay well clear of fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment and treat them as live at all times.

• Watch out for falling tree branches as these can cause damage to power lines.

• Avoid possible damage to electrical appliances (in the unlikely event there is a power surge when the power is restored) by switching off appliances at the wall.

• Keep a torch and spare batteries handy and ensure that you have at least one telephone that does not rely on electricity for operation.

• Ensure that an alternate fuel is always available for cooking (e.g. gas for barbecue).

• If you have an electric garage door, prepare how you can gain entry to the garage another way so you have access to your vehicle.

• Tie down objects on your property that may be impacted by strong winds (ie: trampolines, barbecues and barbecue covers).

• Take extreme care if you are driving in poor weather and delay trips if possible. Do not drive through floodwaters.

• If you are on tank water, please ensure you have plenty of bottled water available.

• If a planned outage for network maintenance has been advised in your area over the coming days, be aware this could be rescheduled depending on impacts from the weather.

• If life or property is at risk, call 111.

Main centre forecast


Cloudy periods and a few showers, but rain around midday. Strong northerlies turn westerly afternoon. High 18C, low 8C

Rain around midday, otherwise showers. Thunderstorms and hail possible from evening. Strong northerly gust 90 km​/​h turning westerly. 17C, 10C

Rain around midday, otherwise showers. Thunderstorms and hail from afternoon. Strong northerlies turning westerly afternoon. 16C, 6C

Showers, but a period of afternoon rain. Strengthening northerlies turning westerly afternoon. 17C, 8C

Morning rain, briefly heavy, then a few showers, possibly thundery with hail. Northerly gales, gusting 120 km​/​h, easing from afternoon. 14C, 9C

Rain, briefly heavy, easing to showers late morning as strong northerlies turn southwest, then becoming fine. 15C, 3C

Cloudy periods. A few showers developing afternoon as northeast turns southwest, possibly heavy and thundery with hail. 16C, 0C

Occasional showers. Strong northeasterlies turning southwest in the morning. 13C, 3C

Source: MetService