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Thunderstorms, rain and flooding possible today

Central and upper North Island are on a severe thunderstorm watch. Photo: Jack Miller

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui and Auckland.

"Unstable conditions this afternoon and early evening are expected to produce scattered thunderstorms across the central and upper North Island," says a MetService spokesperson. 

"There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms from south of the Manukau Harbour to Taumarunui and across to inland and eastern parts of Bay of Plenty."

MetService advise that these thunderstorms may be slow moving and produce localised 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."

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.

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

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