UPDATE 4.02pm: A severe thunderstorm warning has been lifted for Aucklanders after hundreds of forked lightning strikes across the city.
Earlier today residents were warned to stay indoors if they heard thunder. Nearly 600 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were recorded by MetService from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.
The lightning strikes forced Niwa to warn anyone on the water to come ashore immediately.
A severe thunderstorm watch was originally in place for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato.
Ally Bach, duty manager at the Honey Centre in Warkworth, said torrential rain caused the roof to cave in, and water came flooding into the building.
WeatherWatch said the dramatic weather is not over yet, with storms still expected this afternoon.
Parts of Auckland were battered by heavy downpours and hail while motorists had also been warned to take care on the roads in the wet conditions. A travel advisory for motorists remains in place to watch for sudden downpours, hail, thunder and possible surface flooding.
Downpours are currently focused on Southeast Auckland and Northern Auckland on the fringe of the city.
Light opposing winds from the eastern and western coastlines helped fuel the downpours and thunderstorms today.
WeatherWatch said it couldn't rule out further stormy weather across the Auckland region, but entire suburbs would remain dry and miss out on the dramatic weather.