• Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

Pūtāruru was flooded by the heavy rain, with the wet weather now heading towards Bay of Plenty.

Mar 11, 2021

A severe thunderstorm has hit south Waikato, producing 2600 lightning strikes and causing flooding.
South Waikato was hit by heavy rain, hail and lightning on Thursday afternooon causing large delays on State Highway One, and flooding in the town of Ptruru.
Are you experiencing the storm? Send your weather pictures and video to newstips@stuff.co.nz.
MetService meteorologist Peter Little said there was quite an intense cell near Ptruru which produced some quite large hail.
It has been a very active afternoon in the North Island there were 2600 lightning strikes, and in the Waikato there were 1800 strikes [as of 6.40pm], Little said.
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There is still a severe weather watch in place in parts of the North Island until 9pm tonight which means the conditions are still there and thunderstorms may develop.
Traffic backed up on State Highway One in Ptruru as rain bucketed down on Thursday
The weather appeared to be heading towards the Bay of Plenty, with Te Puke and Tauranga in the firing line next for thunderstorms.
But with the daytime heating starting to subside the activity should also start to subside, Little said.
These types of events are normal for autumn, he added.
James Greenfield captured a lightning strike from Papamoa Beach.
James Greenfield/Supplied
Lightning strikes seen from Papamoa Beach.
The forecast is better for Friday with a southerly flow moving over the area.
So it will be a little bit cooler and also the cold air in the upper atmosphere is moving away, so conditions become more stable. There will still be some showers, but we are not expecting much thunderstorm activity.
A police spokeswoman said they had received a few calls reporting flooding on the roads in Ptruru on Thursday afternoon.
She said there was one crash where a car went into a ditch on Domain Road at 5.20pm but the driver was not injured.
A motorist, who didnt want to be named, said driving through Ptruru there was flooding all through the town, she had been stuck in traffic in Ptruru for 45 minutes.
Emergency services were all around the town.