7 Jan 2023

Severe thunderstorm watch in place for majority of North Island

9:08 pm on 7 January 2023
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File photo. Photo: Twitter / @MetService

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch, covering the majority of the North Island.

Heavy rain watches are also in place for parts of the North Island, while Marlborough and Nelson in the South Island are under a strong wind watch.

"Thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening over many North Island areas," MetService said.

"There a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms with downpours bringing 25 to 40 mm per hour (for) Waikato, the far south of Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and inland Gisborne south to the Tararua District and Manawatu."

The watch is currently in place until 10pm on Saturday, when it would be updated.

Metservice said rainfall with that intensity could cause surface and/or flash flooding. In particular around areas likes streams, rivers and narrow valleys.

"Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain."

The heavy rain watch for the ranges of Hawke's Bay and the Tararua District were in place until midnight on Sunday and the watch for Wairarapa was in place until 7pm on Sunday.

The wind watch for the South Island locations was in place until 5pm on Sunday.

"Southeast winds may approach severe gale in exposed places," MetService said.