Thursday, January 28, 2010

Storm warning

There was an electrical storm here in Waipa last night. It was spectacular – it went on for at least an hour and a half, and the thunder was constant for three hours or more. Not a bit of thunder and a minute later a bit more, this was constant noise. We had an hour or so without power, but it was worth it: at the storm’s height we went outside to stand in the rain to enjoy the view. The sheet lightning came every few seconds, along with – I don’t know, forked, several other types:
The storms resulted in more than 13,400 lightning strikes across the central and upper North Island last evening, with an estimated 5000 of those in the Waikato.
Then came the deluge:
Environment Waikato’s Hamilton rainfall graph showed a spike in rainfall around 10pm last night, with about 23mm of rain recorded between 6pm on Tuesday and 6am this morning. [. . .]
Last night’s storm produced bursts of heavy rain and wind, and hail was reported in Cambridge. Matangi weather enthusiast Tim Gunn . . . said his instruments had recorded 64.6mm of rain in the 24 hours to midnight last night.
“This is probably the best Waikato storm we’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s pretty damn good.”
As a result:
A Grey St couple were watching TV when they noticed water trickling down the walls of their lounge just before 9pm.
“It was absolutely pouring down. I couldn’t believe the amount of flash lightning – I’ve never seen anything like it,” the man said.
They thought they’d got through the worst of it but this morning the roof in their hallway partially gave way.
“Now there’s a bit of concern it may do it elsewhere, so it’s not ideal.”
“It’s not ideal.” I bet.

And tonight we may have a repeat:
Wild evening electrical storms lashing the Waikato are set to continue, with forecasters saying conditions are perfect for generating thunder, lightning and downpours.
Perfect indeed. Show time!

Predictive blogging: after posting that I went outside to fetch the recycle bin, and already the thunder rolls. No let-up – it is a long way away at the moment, but it is constant. It will be a long night.

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