Watch out for thunderstorms this morning

Be aware that thunderstorms, rain and gusty driving conditions are likely today. Photo: Savannah Sandlant

The MetService has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch this morning.

“This watch affects people in the Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Gisborne regions,” says MetService spokesperson Arno Dyason.

People in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and monitor for possible Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

“An unstable airmass with embedded troughs continues to affect the upper North Island today. For Coromandel Peninsula, the Kaimai Range, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and the far north of Gisborne, a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms is in place for this morning until this evening.

“Downpours with rainfall intensities of 25 to 35mm per hour and small tornadoes with strong wind gusts are possible.”

Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous.

“If any tornadoes occur, they will only affect very localised areas.

“Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.”

Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain..
For information on preparing for and keeping safe during a storm, see the Civil Defence Get Ready website.

This watch will be updated by 2pm today.

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