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Thunderstorms heading for North Island

Thunderstorm. Photo: Gemma Welton.

Update, 3.30pm: The severe thunderstorm watch issued by the MetService for Northland, Auckland and Waikato has been extended to also cover Great Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula.

"A line of thunderstorms over the upper North Island has the potential to become severe and produce damaging wind squalls of 120 km per hour or possibly a small tornado," says a MetService spokesperson.

"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."

People living in these regions are advised to check information on preparing for and keeping safe during a storm, by going to the Civil Defence Get Ready website

Earlier, 12.45pm: A line of thunderstorms is approaching the north of the North Island.

The MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Northland, Auckland and Waikato.

"Thunderstorms within this line have the potential to become severe and produce damaging wind squalls of 120 km per hour or possibly a small tornado," says a MetService spokesperson.

"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."

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. People in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and monitor for possible Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

Tē mōhiotia āhea ki hea rānei te ohotata. Kia takatū. Kia mataara.

Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. You can take steps to be prepared.

For information on preparing for and keeping safe during a storm, see the Civil Defence Get Ready website

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