South braces for severe weather

MICHELLE COOKE
Last updated 10:55 16/01/2013
TWISTER ALERT: MetService is warning of a possibility of small tornadoes forming on the South Island's east coast.
MetService

TWISTER ALERT: MetService is warning of a possibility of small tornadoes forming on the South Island's east coast.

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It's a country of two halves today: Severe thunderstorms and a chance of small tornadoes are predicted for the South Island but the North Island remains clear.

MetService was warning of severe weather across the South Island from this afternoon into the evening and said there was a possibility small tornadoes might form in eastern Otago and South Canterbury.

Other areas that may experience thunderstorms but where the risk wasn't as high included Fiordland, Westland, Southland, Otago, and from Marlborough to Canterbury.

However, heavy rain and small hail were likely in these areas and could reach 20 millimetres an hour.

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said the North Island would escape the weather pattern today, and while Whanganui and areas west of Auckland could experience some showers, "they're the exception rather than the rule".

Corbett said the front which was bringing the bad weather to the south this afternoon would start tracking north overnight.

"All the action seems to be going on later today down south," Corbett said.

"It won't have as much bark or bite as it moves across the North Island."

Rain was likely across the North Island tomorrow, with a risk of thunderstorms from Taranaki to Wellington, while the South Island could expect clearer skies.

"Put a circle around Friday," Corbett said.

"That's a drier day for all of us."

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