Thunderstorm, hail to hit South Waikato

02:54, Jan 09 2014

Heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected to hit the Waikato in the afternoon and threaten to cause havoc on the roads and property damage.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the northern and central North Island.

South Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo should expect severe localised downpours of 25 to 40mm per hour and heavy hail in excess of 20mm in diameter could damage crops and vehicles.

Metservice warn the intensity of the rain could result in flash flooding in low-lying areas near streams and rivers leading to slips.

Care is needed on the roads with poor visibility and surface flooding.

The weather was expected to ease into the evening.