Wild, wet and windy weather will continue today and into the weekend as a cold front moves in.
MetService says over two hours this morning, there were 849 lightning strikes in New Zealand.
Orange warnings for heavy rain are in place for parts of the Bay of Plenty, Westland and Fiordland.
Severe gales are possible for central and southern New Zealand.
Snowfall could affect people travelling along the Crown Range Road and Milford Road over the next couple of days.
"It'll feel like winter, make no mistake," NIWA meterologist Chris Brandolino told Morning Report.
"We're going to find a pretty brisk blustery couple of days coming up across the motu. Initially that wind is coming from the north and west, that's why it's been so darn warm and humid for most of the North Island anyway and warm across the entire country."
A cold front moves from tomorrow.
"This time tomorrow, a bit of a personal forecast for anyone in the lower North Island, there'll be some squally showers and thunderstorms for the morning commute ... including Wellington."
It's not like a July puff of cold air, he says it's the change in temperature that will be noticeable.
"We'll certainly see a cooler lean over the past week ... but each day there will be variability," he said.
MetService warns dangerous coastal conditions from today and combined waves could reach 6 metres for western coasts of the South Island on Friday.
Large swell waves and dangerous coastal conditions are expected in the western marine areas of both the North and South Island from Thursday— MetService (@MetService) May 18, 2022
Combined waves are forecast to reach 6 metres for the western South Island later on Friday.
More details at: https://t.co/GgW2EUIpBs pic.twitter.com/H9xUo1pgwZ