Storm threat for Canterbury

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 10:49 16/01/2013

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Hail, thunderstorms, squalls and a small tornado might affect Canterbury this afternoon and tonight, MetService says.  

An active trough moving up the South Island today could bring wind gusts of up to 80kmh.

Strong winds with cooler temperatures are expected from Marlborough through Canterbury and eastern Otago to Southland during the afternoon.

This combination leads to a moderate risk of afternoon and evening thunderstorms in Southland and South Otago, and a high risk in eastern Otago and South Canterbury north to about Christchurch.

Rain of up to 25 millimetres an hour and small hail will accompany these thunderstorms in Southland and South Otago, but in eastern Otago northwards to Canterbury, rainfall rates are likely to be higher because of slower storm motions, with hail in the 10 to 20mm range and the possibility of a small tornado. 

The front could trigger thunderstorms along the West Coast.

MetService said there was a moderate risk of thunderstorms associated with the front over Fiordland during the afternoon and evening, and over southern and central Westland from tonight. 

The storms are expected to move offshore later in the day.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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