More stormy weather on way

There is a chance of yet more thunderstorms across the South this afternoon and the MetService says they could become severe in places.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch today for the inland upper South Island and much of the North Island.

There was also a moderate risk of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening about inland areas from Marlborough and Nelson down to North Otago and Central Otago, and possibly also the Fiordland mountains, the forecaster says.

There is a low risk of thunderstorms for much of the rest of the South Island, except eastern Canterbury, southern Southland and Stewart Island.  These thunderstorms will be accompanied by localised heavy rain and small hail. 

For most of the North Island things were looking pretty grim, with a moderate to high risk of thunderstorms this afternoon and in the early evening.

This risk brought the possibility of heavy rain up to 25mm an hour and hail up to 15mm in diameter, MetService said.

There was a high risk of thunderstorms about inland areas from Northland to the Tararua ranges and Wairarapa (including Auckland), and about coastal parts of Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

A surrounding low risk covers all remaining North Island areas. These thunderstorms will be accompanied by localised heavy rain and hail.

Some of the thunderstorms were expected to be severe, producing localised downpours of 25-40m/hr (or more), hail possibly larger than 20mm diameter, and maybe strong wind gusts of 60-80km/hr in a few places.

At the weekend, a low lying west of the North Island would weaken as it drifts northward as a large ridge of high pressure would spread over the country from the Tasman Sea.

This was likely to bring showers over some inland parts of both islands during this period, with possible thunderstorms and localised heavy rain.

The ridge from the Tasman would drift to the east on Tuesday as an active front moved on to the South Island from the south Tasman Sea bringing rain to western areas.

“There is low confidence of rainfall accumulations approaching warning criteria in Fiordland and southern Westland," MetService said.

“Additionally, strengthening northwesterlies precede this front and there is low confidence of northwest gales becoming severe in exposed parts of inland Canterbury, Otago and Southland during Tuesday."

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