Keeping a watch out for thunderstorms today

A thunderstorm watch has been issued by the MetService. Photo: Gemma Welten

The MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Waikato region with a severe thunderstorm watch remaining in force for other parts of the North Island including the Bay of Plenty.

“At 1.37pm the MetService weather radar detected severe thunderstorms near Te Kauwhata, Meremere, Mercer and Waerenga,” says a MetService spokesperson.

“These severe thunderstorms are moving towards the eastsoutheast, and are expected to lie near Te Kauwhata, Meremere and Waerenga at 2.07pm and near Te Kauwhata, Meremere, Ohinewai and Waerenga at 3.27pm.”

“These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.”

Torrential rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in force for Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Taihape.

The National Emergency Management Agency advises that as storms approach people should prepare by doing the following:

- Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows
- Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside
- Get back to land, if outdoors on the water
- Move cars under cover or away from trees
- Secure any loose objects around your property
- Check that drains and gutters are clear
- Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving

During and after the storm, people should also beware of fallen trees and power lines, and avoid streams and drains as they may be swept away in flash flooding.

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