MetService warns of the risk of thunderstorms, tornadoes for the upper North Island

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Photo: Twitter/Brennan Mullan

MetService warns of the possibility of severe thunderstorms in parts of the upper North Island, which could lead to damaging hail and wind and small tornadoes.

It said damp and unstable conditions today are expected to bring thunderstorms to many parts of the North Island, with heavy rain and hail locally.

In the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Coromandel Peninsula, thunderstorms can be severe, with hail over 20 millimeters in diameter, wind gusts over 70 mph and small tornadoes.

MetService said that if tornadoes did happen, they would likely be very localized.

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It also warns that the hail could damage crops, greenhouses and vehicles, and that the wind gusts could damage trees and power lines.

Conditions are expected to ease around 7 p.m.

Last night the Auckland region was hit by a severe thunderstorm that brought downed trees, flooding and property damage.

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Heavy rain and hail have battered the region and emergency services have responded to more than 50 weather-related incidents from Hatfields Beach to Manukau.

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