Slips, trees down and even a roof lifting kept fire crews busy last night as heavy rain and thunderstorms hit New Zealand.

And Auckland and Northland could be in line for more thunderstorms today.

Fire and Emergency NZ northern shift manager Carren Larking said between 8pm and 10.30pm last night there were 15 weather-related jobs in the region - five in Northland, five in Auckland and five in the Waikato.

Most related to fallen trees but a roof had also lifted in Waiuku, south of Auckland, Larking said.


Powerlines had also come down in some areas last night.

In the South Island, State Highway 6 was closed overnight between Murchison and Glenhope due to slips, flooding and fallen trees.

But the weather warnings of yesterday have expired and today is likely to see an easing trend, MetService meteorologist Melissa Oosterwijk said.

"Overall almost the entire country is seeing an easing trend but there's another low system which is approaching the top of the North Island," she said.

That meant rain would develop in Northland this morning and reach Auckland by the afternoon, with possible thunderstorms for both regions this afternoon.

The weather system was "variable" and it was possible the rain could stay in the east, she said.

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Parts of the South Island would be cold today but the North Island's temperatures would be close to the average for this time of year.


Around 6.30am it was still raining on the east coast of the South Island, as well as in Marlborough and Nelson. That rain was the heaviest it would be for the day, Oosterwijk said.

Since midnight, Hawke's Bay through to the Wairarapa had had heavy rain, as had Christchurch and parts of the east coast of the South Island.

But Wellington had had the most rain since midnight, with two Wellington stations registering 50mm of rain over the past six hours, mainly around 4am as a rain band passed over.

Lightning sttikes out West on Sunday night. Photo / Graeme Moscrip
Lightning sttikes out West on Sunday night. Photo / Graeme Moscrip

More than 66,000 lightning strikes were yesterday detected across New Zealand, Niwa said in a tweet, as a stormy cold front passed over the country - and the cooler weather is here to stay for the week.

Auckland Airport grounded flights on Sunday evening after a lightning warning was issued.

Lightning struck 8km out from the airport, which briefly grounded all flights, a spokeswoman said.

The warning was later lifted.

Eight domestic and regional flights were cancelled.

International flights were not affected.

Elsewhere in Auckland, strong winds lifted the roof off a Waiuku garage and smashed all the windows in the house, Fire and Emergency New Zealand shift manager Craig Delly said.

Firefighters had about five or six calls reporting trees crashing down on powerlines, but no reports of injuries, he said.

A stretch of State Highway 6 in the Tasman Region was closed after several reports of slips, flooding and tree falls between Murchison and Glenhope.

The stretch of road would be closed for some time while agencies work to clear it, police said.

The thunderstorms are heralding a colder week across the Upper North Island.

MetService forecaster Gerard Bellam said overnight temperatures in Auckland would drop back to 11C-14C all week, in line with the November average, after an unseasonably hot 18C on Saturday night.
"We have an unsettled week coming up."

"We are into a southwesterly flow on Tuesday. That means one or two showers - common or garden weather for Auckland really - and a dry day on Wednesday with temperatures up to 19C. Then another front travels in from Thursday so we are back to showers."

However, fine weather is expected for next weekend with temperatures up to 22C in Auckland and 26C in Hastings on Sunday.

"Mean daily temperatures in Auckland in November are around 19C-20C, so I would say it's back to normal really," Bellam said.

The forecast for the whole North Island on Monday is periods of rain, heavy at times, and possible thunderstorms, easing to isolated showers and increasing fine periods from Waikato to Kapiti.

The South Island can also expect rain turning to showers in eastern areas, and showers clearing in Nelson, the West Coast and Otago-Southland.