A thunderstorm caught an Air New Zealand flight off guard this morning after lightning struck a flight en route from Auckland to Queenstown.

The flight, which departed Auckland at 9.30am, had to be diverted to Christchurch Airport, according to passengers.

A passenger said they heard the lightning clip a wing shortly after take off but did not think much of it. It's unclear if there was any damage to the plane.

An Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Queenstown was diverted to Christchurch Airport after it was struck by lightning this morning. Photo / Flight Radar
An Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Queenstown was diverted to Christchurch Airport after it was struck by lightning this morning. Photo / Flight Radar

Aucklanders endured a drenching this morning before some clear weather arrived in the early afternoon.

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Passing thunderstorms have made it a wet start to the weekend for much of the upper North Island as a trough tracks northward to lie northeast of the country this evening.

Metservice meteorologist Rob Kerr said the passing showers in Auckland would continue until around 2pm today.

"We saw you guys had a thunderstorm, a little lightning strike over the city. A moderate risk of thunderstorms is going to continue across the Auckland region into this afternoon," Kerr said.

"What we've got is a showery southwest flow at the moment and that's bringing the intermittent showers. There is a little trough that's lying south between Raglan and Tauranga at the moment moving slowly northwards.

"As that clears Auckland as it goes through the afternoon it should clear up quite nicely."

The City of Sails can expect a high of 15C as the weather clears and some strong westerly winds that turn southerly around midday.

Thunderstorms can also be expected in northern Coromandel Peninsula and the Hauraki Gulf in the early afternoon, and about western Northland.

There is also a low risk of a few thunderstorms about eastern Wairarapa and about coastal Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.

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"You've probably got reasonably fresh winds through there at the moment and as that trough moves north you'll see the winds drop off a little bit," Kerr said.

"So it might be a little bit gusty in places but you usually see a bit of a respite in the winds through the afternoon and it might pick up again this evening."

South of the wet trough below Tauranga is already fairly dry today, but Wellington and the East Coast can expect showers through much of the day.

"The trough is currently sitting across the central North Island and that's tracking south and behind that things clear up quite quickly in terms of shower activity.

"They'll be a notable difference once that trough has cleared your region. It will dry up pretty quickly."

Across the North Island there are max temperatures in the low to mid teens.

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Heavier showers heading to Gisborne might just rain out on the ranges to the South.

It's a chilly one in the South Island, with most cities experiencing highs below 10C for the day.

Christchurch can expect snow above 800m on Banks Peninsula, with showers clearing to fine in the afternoon, and a high of 10C.

A southwesterly has turned to more southerly as of 10.30am, bringing showers to the mainland of the South Island.

This flow will tip westerly as the day progresses, with skies to clear over Canterbury.

Road snow warnings issued this morning in the South Island have been lifted.

Forecast:

Whangārei:

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High: 15C. Low 8C. A few showers, clearing in the afternoon and becoming fine. Strong westerlies turn southerly early afternoon.

Auckland: High: 15C. Low: 7C. Showers, possibly thundery, clearing early in the afternoon and becoming fine. Strong westerlies turn southerly around midday.

Hamilton: High: 15C. Low: 0. Showers clearing early in the afternoon and becoming fine. Westerlies turning southerly late morning.

Tauranga: High: 16C. Low: 3C. Chance morning shower then fine. Westerlies turning southerly late morning.

Rotorua: High 13C. Low: 0. Chance morning shower then fine. Westerlies turning southerly late morning.

Gisborne: High: 13C. Low: 3C. Showers developing this morning as winds turn southwesterly, then easing afternoon.

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Napier: High: 13C. Low: 1C. A few showers becoming more frequent for a time in the morning as winds turn southwesterly, then clearing evening.

Palmerston North: High: 12C. Low: 2C. Showers, clearing in the afternoon to fine spells. Winds changing southeast early morning, then easing evening.

Wellington: High: 10C. Low: 5C. Showers, clearing in the afternoon to fine spells. Strong southerlies easing evening.

Nelson: High: 15C. Low 5C. Mainly fine. Cloudy periods developing in the afternoon. Southerlies dying out.

Christchurch: High: 10C. Low: -3C. A few showers, with snow above 800 metres on Banks Peninsula, clearing to fine in the afternoon. Southwesterlies, fresh about the coast at first.

Queenstown: High: 9C. Low; 1C. Chance morning shower, then fine spells from afternoon. Light winds.

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Dunedin: High 10C. Low: 7C. Fine. Southwesterlies, fresh about the coast.