Severe thunderstorms heading north

Large hail, squally winds and lightning forecast

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 16:21 18/12/2013
Storm
John Bisset
WILD WEATHER: The forecast storm front arrives at Timaru.

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A severe thunderstorm hanging over Dunedin, Oamaru and Timaru has hit its ''prime risk time'' and is heading north.

A storm that MetService earlier warned could produce localised downpours, large damaging hail, squally winds, lightning, and possibly a small tornado is making its way up the country, meteorologist Daniel Corbett says.

''It's coming, it's heading your way.''

Hail blanketed parts of Oamaru this afternoon, and the thunderstorm was likely to reach Christchurch by evening.

''It is prime risk time from about now to 9pm, but there is more risk down south from Ashburton to Oamaru and Dunedin.''

Hail could not be ruled out in Christchurch though, he said.

Most hail stones had been small, but it could change if the storm grew since ''the bigger the storm, the bigger the hail''.

The weather would improve tomorrow, but another front was due in Canterbury over the weekend, Corbett said.

TIME-LAPSE: THUNDERSTORM OVER LAKE TEKAPO

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