Weather: Thunder and storms to dampen summer for parts of NZ

Auckland, and most of the country, brace for a wet Friday night.
JOHN SELKIRK/FAIRFAX NZ

Auckland, and most of the country, brace for a wet Friday night.

Thunderstorms are due to bring a blast of wintry weather across the country on Friday, with severe weather warnings in place. 

MetService has warned of strong downpours and wild wind gusts for parts of North and South Island.

Auckland is to bear the brunt of downpours that could turn severe in the afternoon and early evening, meteorologist Paul Mallinson said.

"If Auckland city's unlucky there could be 30 to 40mm over an hour or an hour and a half."

Mallinson said there was a low risk of one or two small tornadoes as the trough passes in the afternoon from inland Auckland to inland Waikato.

A low and associated frontal rainband over the Tasman Sea was moving towards New Zealand late on Thursday and through Friday, MetService warned.

Severe rainfall was due to reach the northwest of the North Island from Taranaki to Taupo to eastern Bay of Plenty.

In Wellington, north to northwest gales were expected to develop overnight Thursday and become severe on Friday, with gusts of 140kmh or more in exposed places.

Wairarapa should follow a similar pattern but a little later, while Marlborough would also be similar but wind gusts were expected to peak at 120kmh.

In the Tararua Range, between Wellington and Wairarapa, up to 150mm of rain was expected on Friday.

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For the Kapiti Coast, MetService predicted northwest gales to be become severe in exposed places from mid-morning Friday through to late afternoon.

For Hawke's Bay, northwest gales were expected during Friday afternoon and evening and could become severe in exposed places south of Napier for a time.

Heavy rain and possible thunder were also expected in the South Island, at the West Coast north of Franz Josef, Buller, and Nelson.

 - Stuff

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