4000 lightning strikes in one hour; Northland, Auckland residents urged to stay inside

By Will Trafford

Photo / NIWA

Residents in Tāmaki Makaurau and Northland are being urged to take shelter after thousands of lightning strikes and heavy rain blanketed the region.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Kaipara, the Far North, Whangārei and Rodney and severe thunderstorm watch for Northland, Auckland, Aotea/ Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel.

4000 lightning strikes have been recorded so far across the region with more than 700 in the space of five minutes early this morning.

Surface flooding has engulfed roads across the supercity and the southern motorway has had several lanes reduced at TipTop corner in Mount Wellington due to flooding.

Several schools have also released students or are requesting they do not attend class today on account of the storm.

The National Emergency Management Agency is urging people to stay inside away from windows as the weather crosses the rohe.