Tornado warnings in place as violent thunderstorms lash New Zealand

Must See 10/04/2018

New Zealand is being lashed by violent storms as strong winds and heavy rain pours across the country on Tuesday morning.

A southerly low has led to an outbreak of bad weather, with severe gales expected around northern parts of Westland and Buller, the Marlborough Sounds, Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua, Taranaki, Waikato, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula.

Aucklanders have been warned to buckle up as the gales kick in.

"We're in for two periods of potentially severe winds," MetService says.

"An active trough is expected to move east over these areas later this morning and afternoon. This trough is likely to be accompanied by squally thunderstorms, possibly bringing wind gusts of more than 110 km/h and localised damaging tornadoes."

"In addition, temperatures are expected to drop, with the snow level is expected to lower Monday night to 300-400 metres in the south and central South Island, and to 500-600 metres about the upper South Island," MetService warns

"The largest snow accumulations are likely about Canterbury and Kaikoura and a Heavy Snow Warning is in place for these areas. Snow accumulations in Otago, Southland and Fiordland may not be as deep, but could still cause disruption and these areas are included in the Watch."

NIWA warns the wind may cause power outages and there may be damage to trees and power lines.

"Low pressure moving off the Tasman Sea is likely to produce strong winds across parts of the North Island and the far northern South Island on Tuesday, including Auckland," NIWA says.

"By late Tuesday night, temperatures will 'feel like' single digits in the North Island and below zero in the South Island."