There have been 336 lightning strikes in the South this afternoon and evening, including one that cut power to a Dunedin street and another that hit a house.
MetService forecaster Gerard Bellam said the wider Dunedin area had borne the brunt of the thunderstorms, but there had also been strikes in the Catlins area and off the coast of Oamaru.
The thunderstorms had been caused by a southwesterly front coming through this afternoon and the first cells began forming west of Dunedin about 3.30pm, with the first strikes about 4pm.
By 7.15pm there had been 336 strikes.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokeswoman said firefighters from Dunedin Central were called to what was initially thought to be lightning hitting a house on Glenelg St, Bradford just before 5pm.
However, when they arrived it was clear the lightning had hit a power pole outside the house.
The strike cut power to the street and firefighters left the scene with power authorities.
This comes as Dunedin has been hit with thunderstorms this afternoon, bringing lightning, hail and periods of heavy rain.
At 6.10pm firefighters were called to lightning striking a house on Stenhope Cres in Corstorphine.
Power authorities had been called, but the spokeswoman was not sure if power had been cut.
The MetService earlier issued a thunderstorm outlook covering the majority of the South for this afternoon and evening and says there is a moderate risk in coastal parts of Otago and Southland.
Thunderstorms in the areas close to the coast could bring heavy rain of 10mm to 15mm an hour, winds gusts of 80kmh to 100kmh and hail 5mm to 15mm in diameter.
In inland parts of Otago and Southland there was a low risk of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.
On large parts of the West Coast there was a moderate risk of thunderstorms which could also bring heavy rain.
Temperatures are expected to drop across the South for tomorrow, with Dunedin expected to reach 16degC.
This article was first published in the Otago Daily Times.