Storm rolls in over capital

Last updated 17:04 17/01/2013
Mark Adeane

A time lapse of the storm approaching Wellington.

The Wellington rain radar at about 2pm today - thunderstorms were expected about noon, but are now due to arrive mid-afternoon.
Wellington storm
Blair Hinton Zoom
The storm hits Wellington Harbour.

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The southerly front, forecast to bring thunder, lightning and even hail, has arrived in Wellington.

MetService issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the capital and surrounding areas this morning.

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Northern Waikanae Beach residents are without power after a line reportedly went down at 3pm, possibly due to the weather, electricity supplier Electra said.

Electra control centre operator Allan Anderson said the incident initially cut electricity supply to the whole of Waikanae Beach, though power was restored to the area south of Te Moana Rd at 3.30pm.

Electra general manager Ross Leggett said the company was currently working to restore power to the 500 people affected by 5.30pm.

Train services to Johnsonville were running slower than normal after the rain left the tracks slippery - a safety requirement due to the steep nature of the line, a Kiwirail spokesperson said.

Services would resume running as per normal once the tracks were sufficiently dried.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said the southerly front would meet northerly flowing air over Cook Strait, causing heavy, thundery showers and a drop in temperature.

Mr Corbett said the temperature would likely drop from 15C at lunchtime to 12C by early evening.

Hail could be as large as 20mm in diameter and wind gusts damaging, with speeds of 110kmh or more.

The leading edge of the front moved over the lower North Island at noon, bringing rain to areas of Wairarapa and the Manuwatu, Mr Corbett said.

The thunderstorm watch was in place until 8pm, when the storm should pass north of Wellington and the rain will ease to showers.

Mr Corbett said the showers should clear overnight, for a fine day tomorrow.

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- The Dominion Post


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