Heavy hail pounds Wellington

09:56, Sep 13 2011
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A storm front rolls across Lyall Bay.
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Hail blankets Boulcott Street after a storm hit Wellington.
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A view looking down on central Wellington during the hail storm.
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Hail around the steps of Parliament.
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Streets look white after a heavy hail downfall in central Wellington.
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Hailstones roughly the size of peanut M&Ms fell in Wilton.
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Hail covers a Karori Street
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Boulcott Streets shows tracks where cars have driven over hail.
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The corner of Tory and Wakefield Sts covered in hail.
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Large hail stones are visible on the ground in Karori.
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The backyard of a Wellington home following a hailstorm.
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Hailstones which fell during the storm in Wellington.
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Hailstones which fell during the storm in Wellington.
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A car is blanketed in Hail in Kelburn.
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Lambton Quay after a serious hailstorm.
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Mt Victoria also received a significant coat of hail.
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Mt Victoria also received a significant coat of hail.
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Looking down on central Wellington after a hail storm.
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A panoramic image of Kent Terrace following a hail storm.
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A closeup of hail stones which fell in Khandallah
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Abel Smith St following the hail storm.
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The railway station in Wellington following a hail storm.
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Hailstones which fell in Wellington next to a ruler.
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Hail on the beach at Island Bay.
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Kabul St in Khandallah after hail fell in Wellington.
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A cyclist endures the hail storm in Wellington.
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A car which left soon after the hail began left a mark on Hawkestone St.
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Cars covered with hail at a Newlands property.
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Hail in Hataitai.
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"RWC 2011" was written into hail which fell on the atificial turf in Civic Square.
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The waterfront is covered with hail in Wellington.
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An intersection in central Wellington show tyre tracks where people have driven through the hail.
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Hailstones which fell in Wellington.
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The hail storm approaches Wellington.
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Hail blankets Kent and Cambridge Terraces in Wellington.
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The view of the railway station from the law school after a hail storm.
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Hail storm clouds roll over Kapiti.
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The hail storm hits Lower Hutt.
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Wellington's Basin Reserve covered in hail stones.
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Karori as the hail storm hit at 2pm.
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New World in Thorndon, which received a heavy coat of hail.

Over 500 lightning strikes have hit Wellington as thunder and hail pelted the capital this afternoon leaving some residents without power.

 

Have you been affected by the hail? Send your photos, videos and news to newstips@stuff.co.nz

Rain radar
INTENSE: The rain radar at 2pm.

The storm had moved over to Wairarapa where the temperature had plunged to 2 degrees and snow was possible, MetService forecaster Stephen Glassey said.

Snow as deep as 15cm was expected on the high parts of the Desert Rd today.

581 lightning strikes - mostly around Wellington and the Cook Strait - had been recorded over two hours.

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Weatherwatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan described hail storms as leaving the ground white like snow around Wellington and said thunder rattled windows with some of the loudest thunder in years.

"Motorways and inner city streets are white following the dramatic hail storm.''

"The city went from a nor'wester and 12 degrees to a southerly and 4 degrees in around 30 minutes".

A Wellington Electricity spokesman said 900 homes in Eastbourne, Days Bay, and Evans Bay had lost power shortly before 2pm.

The outages were weather-related but the cause was not yet known.

Workers were trying to get power restored soon.

Police say two crashes had already been caused by the bad weather.

One was in the southbound lane of Ngauranga Gorge, and another on state highway one near the Aotea off ramp.

MetService forecaster Ian Gall said the bulk of the storm had left Wellington by 2pm.

"It is brief, short, sharp, and to the point," he said.

The southerly front had worked its way up the east coast of the South Island but gained power over the Cook Strait.

"It's just a surge in [the] southerly but came up with activity we hadn't anticipated," he said.

The front - with thunder, heavy rain, and gusts of up to 75kmh - was expected to leave Wellington within a couple of hours before moving to Wairarapa.

The front was expected to head out to sea after hitting Wairarapa this afternoon, missing most of Hawke's Bay.

Police central communications spokesman Marty Edghill said "marble-sized hail stones" were reported in central Wellington.

Gladstone Vineyard, Wairarapa, viticulturist Kyle Mason said if the hail came a week later it could have caused serious damage to new shoots.

However, vines were still dormant and no damage was expected if the hail reached over to Wairarapa.

The Dominion Post