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Thunderstorm watch issued for BOP

Thunderstorms are forecast to move accross the North Island this afternoon.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in force for the Bay of Plenty.

"Heavy localised rain with possible thunderstorms are expected over the north of the North Island during today, with heavy rain rates of 10 to 25 mm per hour and hail likely in places," says the MetService.

"Additionally, About Northland south of Whangarei, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty west of Rotorua, there is a risk that bands of rain or possible thunderstorms could become slow moving over areas, producing downpours of 25 to 40 mm per hour.

"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."

This watch affects people in the following weather forecast districts:

Northland

Auckland

Great Barrier Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Waikato

Bay of Plenty

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