An unusual weather event has captivated locals in Taupō, a funnel cloud forming over the town this afternoon.
In a video filmed by local Megan Bishop, a long, snaking funnel can be seen flowing down from the rest of the clouds and approaching the ground at around 3.40pm.
The unusual weather event is the precursor to a tornado, which occurs when a funnel cloud touches the ground.
"As we were watching you could see it develop and you could really see it starting to twist," Bishop told 1 NEWS.
"It never made ground, but it was pretty cool... It was just fascinating."
Bishop says behind her, there were clear blue skies — the complete opposite to the dark cloud building before her.
"We just saw it come down. I've never seen it before."
As the weather shifted, the funnel began to lift and retreat into the main cloud again, Bishop says, with other smaller funnels twining out of the skies.
None made landfall.
The MetService forecast for Taupō today is for fine spells and some showers, with potential heavy rain and thunder from the afternoon.
A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for Taupō from 1pm to 10pm today.
MetService has been contacted for additional comment.