Weather: Sunny Sunday morning, then rain, hail, thunderstorms possible

North Islanders are being advised to make the most of their sunny Sunday morning as thunderstorms make their way up the country.

The MetService says the Bay of Plenty is the area with the most likelihood of getting the brunt of the storms, with everything from showers, rain and hail all expected.

About 8am, a large ridge of high pressure had settled itself over the North Island but it wasn’t going to last, duty forecaster Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said.

Thunderstorms ripped their way through parts of Nelson and Motueka yesterday, with massive hail storms leaving the ground coated, orchards damaged as well as a dusting of snow on the ranges.

“There wasn’t too much in terms of rain but that region got quite a bit of hail with the thunderstorms.”

However, the storms had passed and their region woke to a clear, sunny day.

“For today it looks like there’s nothing really happening there, it’s actually quite a beautiful fine day. There could still be a few showers above the ranges but the morning should still be mostly clear.

“Later on we could see some showers once again but won’t be anything close to what they had yesterday.”

Showers are expected in quite a few areas of the country today, while conditions looked likely for the formation of thunderstorms in the Bay of Plenty.

“The central, eastern parts of the North Island we see a moderate risk area of thunderstorms and then the area to highlight today is the BOP area where it’s looking quite likely for thunderstorms to form in that region from the afternoon onwards.

“With that we could see localised areas of heavy rain with possible hail in that area, too.”

As for whether it would be similar to what Nelson experienced yesterday, Makgabutlane said it was hard to compare the storms as they just formed where the environmental factors were favourable.

They include an unstable atmosphere with cold air and a lot of moisture as well as some “trigger action”.

“The rest of the weather for today we’re expecting a broad area of rain, mostly showers, for the North Island as well as the eastern South Island.

“The eastern South Island has had rain on and off yesterday and that is the trend that we will see today but it should ease later this evening.

“For the North Island it’s quite a rainy and showery day expected.”

As for temperatures, given that a southwesterly flow was in control, that meant many areas would be lucky to burst through into the 20s.

That affects the central and eastern areas of both islands.

Wellington, Dunedin and Oamaru could all expect highs of about 13C, while Christchurch would get to 15C.

In the North Island, it would also be cool, with Auckland only reaching 19C, Kaitaia 20C, Tauranga 21C and Napier 18C.

As for Monday, the South Island is the place to be as a ridge of high pressure sits over it tomorrow.

“So we see a break in that rain but temperatures struggle to recover, it’s still quite a cold day except for southern parts of the South Island, temperatures do actually make it into the lower, mid 20s but for the rest of the country the North Island could see a few showers to start off with and that southwesterly flow does hold on so it’s still a cool day expected.”

Showers were more likely in the lower and eastern areas, including Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, as well as Taranaki out west.

On Tuesday, temperatures would remain cool, with a few showers in the eastern North Island.

However, the next system is approaching late on Tuesday, and Fiordland is likely to get the first taste of it.

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