1 NEWS' Dan Corbett gives graphic explanation of lightning after ferocious Auckland storm

1 NEWS’ weather expert Dan Corbett has given a graphic explanation of what causes lightning after this morning's ferocious thunder storm that battered Auckland and other parts of the North Island.

The storm has left a woman recovering from being struck by lightning in South Auckland and four farm animals dead. And some residents remain without power after lightning hit houses, disrupted flights and closed schools.

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Flights were affected, and stock killed, in a tumultuous morning of thunder and lightning. Source: 1 NEWS

Corbett said the sky got noticeably darker as thunderstorms closed in this morning - a sure sigh of potential strikes.

Lightning begins as static charges in the rain clouds, he explained. 

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Terry Jenner of Papatoetoe fire station says the Māngere fire happened as they had "fire engines racing all around South Auckland". Source: 1 NEWS

"Turbulent winds push moisture and frozen water droplets around. They bump into each other and these collisions create the electric charge.

They fill up the cloud - positive charges at the top, heavier, negative ones at the bottom."

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Amy Buncuga, who recorded the strike, said she had to mute out her scream before sharing the video. Source: Supplied

And of course, opposites attract.

"And very simply put, the negative charges fall to earth, the positive electricity rises from the ground. And when they connect, zap - lightning strikes."

As for the booming sound, that's caused by the increase of pressure and temperature in the air surrounding, and within a thunder bolt, our weatherman explained.

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NIWA says there were more than 30,000 lightning strikes across NZ today – Dan Corbett explains how they came to be. Source: 1 NEWS