A night time winter thunderstorm in Christchurch?

Time: 9:00 pm

Location: Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

  • Lightning
  • ,
  • Thunderstorm

I was almost going to pass on 2008 all together and not put anything up but thought I had to put something, even if it was just one photograph. This storm was it!

This thunderstorm that moved through on Thursday, 3rd July 2008 was quite unexpected. Canterbury doesn’t get that many thunderstorms in general, and not often at night. Least of all in winter! But that’s what happened this night. I saw a small southwesterly trough was due around 9 or 10pm when these storms developed but immediately discounted it as I just didn’t think anything would happen at this time of year and nothing had happened in such a long time so why would tonight be any different? Goes to show the weather can surprise you.

The amazing thing with this storm and it was noted by quite a few people around Christchurch was you could hear it coming. The reason being was the hail, it slowly got closer and closer and we wondered what was going on with this roar getting gradually louder. Hail would’ve been upwards of 10mm in size but because it was so still before hand the sound travelled quite well, imagine a big wall of hail bouncing off tin roofs in the still of the night getting closer and closer. That would’ve been part of the reason for the roaring sound. 2007 and 2008 were pretty slow years in Canterbury for storms and when you’ve been out’ve the picture for that long you get a little slack, I didn’t have my video camera charged so didn’t get any video unfortunately. I literally got only one photo of any thunderstorm type situation for 2008 and it was of lightning from this storm!! There were some other bolts that went off but bad timing meant I didn’t get any others. So here it is, the one photo of 2008 of some lightning, in Canterbury, in winter, at night!???

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