The Bay of Plenty is currently under a severe thunderstorm watch.
Thunderstorms are expected to develop over northern and central parts of the North Island this afternoon and evening, bringing localised heavy rain and hail, says the MetService.
"Additionally in Bay of Plenty (including Rotorua), Taupo and Waikato east of Morrinsville, there is a moderate risk some of the thunderstorms could become severe, producing localised downpours of 25 to 40 mm/h.
"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," says the MetService.
MetService Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Area: Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo
Valid: 7 hours from 2pm Mon 4 Dec to 9pm Mon 4 Dec