Thunder storm all menace, no bite

Timaru 'lucky this time'

JACQUIE WEBBY
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2013
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax Media

An unedited time-lapse of the storm that passed around Timaru on Wednesday.

timaru storm clouds
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ Zoom
BIG FRONT: Storm clouds build in a southern South Canterbury sky late afternoon.

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Most parts of South Canterbury emerged unscathed from the second electrical storm in a few days to sweep the region.

MetService meteorologist Mike O'Connor said the storm tracked north heading for Timaru and then did a "loop" out to sea before coming back inland towards Ashburton.

"Timaru was lucky this time," he said.

MetService issued a severe weather warning yesterday afternoon signalling scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms over Canterbury and Otago.

There was also a high risk of thunderstorms, with some severe especially south of Ashburton and down to Dunedin, with localised downpours, large damaging hail and possibly a small tornado.

Makikihi Hotel owner Bruce Milne said he experienced some rain driving back from Dunedin but there was only "a couple of claps of thunder and a bit of rain and the sun came out again quite quickly".

The storm passed by Pleasant Point with no effect; Fairlie was "hot and warm" all afternoon; but Waimate experienced some hail, rain and thunder. Panels were lifted off a coolstore at Fonterra's Clandeboye plant, but the damage was "minor".

Heading towards Christmas, South Canterbury can look forward to a relatively fine today as shoppers use the last few days leading up to Christmas to fill their shopping lists.

A southwesterly change which arrived in Timaru overnight should bring a fine day with some cloud in the morning.

Leading up to Christmas, the weather for Timaru and South Canterbury is a mixed bag with some days of overcast weather with showers.

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- The Timaru Herald

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