Severe thunderstorm warning in force

Lightning. Photo by Gemma Welten

The MetService has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning on Sunday afternoon for the areas of South Waikato, Taupo, Otorohanga and Rotorua.

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

At 03.00 pm, the MetService weather radar detected severe thunderstorms near Tokoroa, Putaruru, Waipapa, Lichfield, Kinleith and Hodderville.

These severe thunderstorms are moving towards the southeast, and are expected to lie near Tokoroa, Kinleith, Upper Atiamuri, Atiamuri, Guthrie, and the hills and ranges east of Tokoroa at 3.30pm and near Taupo, Reporoa, Broadlands, Orakei Korako, Waikite Valley, Golden Springs and Mihi at 4pm.

These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain, large hail and damaging wind gusts.

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

Large hail can cause significant damage to crops, orchards, vines, glasshouses and vehicles, and make driving conditions hazardous.

Very strong wind gusts can break branches from trees, damage roofing, and make driving hazardous especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management advises that as storms approach you should:

 - 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, you should also:

 - Beware of fallen trees and power lines;

 - Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.



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