Three Air NZ planes struck by lightning in Auckland

By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

For a recap of 1News’ live updates as it happened, scroll down.

What you need to know:

Lightning strikes Auckland’s Sky Tower.
  • A severe thunderstorm watch was in place for Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, and Waikato until 9pm this evening.
  • The temperature in parts of Auckland saw a dramatic drop this afternoon, with hail falling on the city.
  • A strong wind warning remains in place between 10am today until 3am tomorrow.
  • Severe gale southwesterlies are gusting at 120 km/h in exposed places. The highest gust was recorded at 144km/h in Manukau Heads.
  • Wild weather has caused a massive power outage in Hamilton, with more than 15,000 properties without electricity.

Air New Zealand’s Auckland services were “temporarily paused four times today when gusting wind conditions meant it was not safe to operate at Auckland Airport”, Air New Zealand chief operating officer Alex Marren told 1News in a statement this evening. 

“Three of our regional aircraft experienced lightning strikes earlier today and have been inspected by our engineering teams and are safe to return to service.”

Thirty-four regional services and six domestic jet services with Air New Zealand “have unfortunately been cancelled” due to the wild weather, 

“Our teams are working round the clock to rebook impacted customers on the next available service to get them to their destinations,” Marren said.

“We appreciate changes to travel plans are frustrating and would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while we work through this weather disruption.”

Gales to continue overnight

Gale or severe gale winds will continue across parts of the upper North Island overnight, MetService says. 

A severe thunderstorm watch remains in place for Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, and Waikato is in place until 9pm. 

The watch for Taranaki has been lifted.

Three planes struck by lightning – Air NZ

Air New Zealand’s Auckland services were “briefly paused” earlier today due to strong winds, Air New Zealand general manager airports Kate Boyer told 1News in a statement.

Boyer said three regional planes were struck by lightning earlier today “and are being reviewed by our engineering teams to ensure they are safe to return to service”. 

“As a result, 24 regional services were unfortunately cancelled this afternoon.”

She said the airline is working to rebook affected customers on the next available flight. 

Hail taste test

Six-year-old Madeleine has tried hail for the first time. 

“It tasted like ice,” she told 1News

Winds picking up in Auckland

Winds are picking up in Auckland this evening, 1News meteorologist Dan Corbett says.

“These winds are really peaking now. They’re really starting to pick up. Wind gusts, we’ve seen 100 to 130km/h to the west coast – those are damaging winds.

“Through the night, we have that warning in place and watches for much of the northern parts of the country too. That will clear away.”

Tomorrow will be “much quieter”, Corbett said, but it’ll be a good idea to wear some extra layers.

“It’s going to be chilly, it’s going to be frosty as well in places.”

Severe thunderstorm warning lifted

A severe thunderstorm warning in place for Rodney, Gulf, and Albany have been lifted. The severe thunderstorm watch for Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, and Waikato is still in place.

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