While many took shelter during Monday’s storms and squalls, Anna Fisher from Raglan headed to Manu Bay to watch the waves.
Resounding claps of thunder, hail and strong winds that can shake a house – all of this has hit the Waikato in recent days.
“I saw the surf forecast which of course was garbage,” Fisher said, “but today was going to be about 21 feet (6.4m)…And I thought I’d just like to get out there and see the waves, see what they look like at that size,” Fisher said.
After her house shook and was “blown away by incredibly strong wind and rain” on Sunday evening, she felt like winter had truly arrived.
* Lightning strikes, rain and even snow
* Cold front brings snow, hail, thunderstorms to parts of New Zealand, freezing temperatures for Auckland
* Wet start for the week for Manawatū
“It’s good that there is snow in the south, and hopefully that will kick off an early ski season, which would be great.”
And, after a flurry of what MetService metrologist John Law likened to a “Groundhog Day” of showers and thunderstorms, respite is coming.
Waikato has been on a severe thunderstorm watch for the past two days, as MetService recorded 114,765 lightning strikes over and near New Zealand from midnight June 6 to noon Monday.
Law said a large area of low pressure was driving northwest across the country, and weather warnings and watches remained.
Waikato’s thunderstorms should start to subside by Monday evening, but he advised keeping a raincoat and umbrella handy for a few days.
This is following a day of windy weather, with flooding in Marokopa, reports of hail in Tokoroa and contractors dealing with downed trees and a landslide in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty early morning.
More showers were expected on Tuesday, as Law said it would take “a few days” for things to improve.
“As the winds shift from the northwest to more of the southwest, we should find things are picking up a bit.”
Temperatures were very mild in early June, Law said, and are expected to stay between 15 and 16 degrees for the next two days.
“As we head into the middle of the week, temperatures are down to single digits overnight, but it’s still warmer than expected for this time.”
And with about six centimeters of snow forecast for the desert road Monday morning, Law warned anyone passing by to keep an eye out for conditions.
Elsewhere, Auckland Harbor Bridge was fully closed for short periods on Monday as wind gusts reached 100km/h.
A cleanup began after a tornado carved a path through the Kāpiti Coast community of Waikanae Beach on Sunday evening.
Savage weather in Wellington caused power cuts, flooding, landslide and road closures, while around 1,000 homes in Taranaki were without power on Monday due to damaged lines.
There was 1.5 meters of snowfall in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, while the South Island’s main passes – Lewis, Arthurs, Lindis, Haast and Burkes Pass – were closed due to the snow.