Thunderstorms rumbling over North Island

22:30, Dec 27 2012

Severe thunderstorms and flash flooding are forecast for much of the North Island today including Taranaki.

MetService has warned the storms may develop his afternoon and evening, from Waikato to Wairarapa.

"These storms are expected to be slow-moving and capable of producing flooding rainfall - 25-40 millimetres an hour," the MetService warning says.

"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."

People should take shelter immediately should severe weather approach or if they felt threatened.

The warning applies to Taranaki, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taupo, Hawke's Bay, Taihape, Wanganui, Manawatu, Tararua, and Wairarapa.

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