The thunder storm which hit Rotorua last night and woke many were part of a very active front that passed over the city - with hundreds of lightning strikes recorded.

And the bad news is forecasters say it's part of a very active autumnal phase which is likely to see two more lots of bad weather come through over the coming days.

Metservice forecaster Tom Adams said two fronts passed over the city last night, one between about 8pm and 9pm and another burst between 12.30am and 3am.

"The band was very intense at the point it crossed over Rotorua."


Mr Adams said it was hard to say just how many lightning strikes Rotorua had, but the first band had about 700 stokes per hour, with the second about 200 strikes per hour "but a lot more localised".

Judging by comments on the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page the storm woke quite a few people, with several describing it as the worst thunderstorm they'd heard and one saying they'd "never heard anything like it".

Mr Adams said because of the nature of the storm, it was difficult to say how much rain fell. However he said the rain radar at Rotorua Airport recorded 5.2mm in the hour from 1am to 1.30am.

He said that half hour of rain made up about half the rain which fell in the last 12 hours.Mr Adams said the country was in a "very active autumnal phase" with another front expected on Wednesday followed by another on Friday and Saturday.

He said the front expected on Friday and Saturday was expected to be "quite significant with some pretty high winds" and advised people to keep an eye on weather watches and warnings ahead of the weekend.

It also meant a drop in temperatures, he said.

"As each comes through it pulls up more colder air from the south."

The maximum temperature for today was expected to be 15C with a maximum temperature of 14C tomorrow

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