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VIDEO: Lightning Bolt Blasts Famed New Zealand Weather Structure

By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
August 17, 2014; 3:32 AM ET

As intense thunderstorms rumbled over New Zealand's capital Thursday, an electric lightning bolt blasted a local weather measurement device, splintering the metal rod.

Known as "the needle," the zephyrometer was hit around 2:30 p.m. local time. The needle was installed in Wellington in 2003 and designed to be an aesthetically pleasing structure while also recording valuable wind strength and direction.

The structure reaches 33 meters (108 feet) in height making for a solid target to draw lightning in for a rumbling clash. As the bolt hit, a puff of smoke can be seen erupting from the needle.

The Wellington Zephyrometer was hit with an intense lightning bolt Thursday afternoon local time. (YouTube/Solomon Emet)

"The thunderstorms occurred as a cold front moved through Wellington Thursday afternoon," Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

"Around the time of the strike, Wellington International Airport reported a thunderstorm with a wind gust of 62 mph (100 kph)," she said.

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Pydynowski also noted that temperatures dropped nearly 10 degrees as the storm rolled through.

Wellington City Council Spokesman Richard MacLean told the local news outlet, The Dominion Post, that the needle was "completely stuffed" and that debris piled up at the site of the strike.


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