Severe thunderstorm watch

22:19, Apr 20 2013

The MetService have issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Taranaki this morning.

MetService said there was the potential for the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing flooding, heavy rainfall and damaging winds with hail and small tornadoes possible.

People are being warned that heavy rain could cause 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, MetService said.

Squally winds and possible small tornados may cause some structural damage, including damage to trees and power lines, and make driving hazardous. If any did occur they will only affect very localised areas.

The watch is in addition to the severe weather warning already in place across the region.

MetService said heavy rain was expected at times until this afternoon and in the six hours from 9am Sunday, a further 50-80mm is likely to accumulate on the Mountain.

About 30- 50mm is possible in localised areas lower down, especially in northern parts of Taranaki with peak rainfall rates of 25-40mm/hr possible with thunderstorms.

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