Rain, thunderstorms and ''damaging squalls'' of more than 110km an hour can be expected across much of the upper North Island today.
MetService has issued a severe weather warning for the central North Island high country and a severe thunderstorm watch for Waikato and the Coromandel Peninsula.
A front is expected to move east over the upper North Island this evening, bringing a moderate risk of thunderstorms and lightening with it.
Given the fast-moving nature of the weather system, damaging wind squalls exceeding 110km an hour were possible for coastal Waikato and the west of the Coromandel Peninsula, the thunderstorm watch said.
Structural damage to trees and power lines and hazardous conditions could result, MetService said.
Further south, a strong, moist westerly flow is expected to bring long periods of rain to the central North Island.
People in Taumarunui, the ranges west of Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park should prepare for an intense burst of rain this eveningBetween 60 to 90mm rain was expected from 8am to midnight today.
MetService has warned that anyone planning outdoor activities in these areas should be aware of heavy rain and that rivers and streams will rise rapidly.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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