These severe thunderstorms are moving towards the northwest.
The MetService says they are expected to lie near ROTORUA, WAIKITE VALLEY, WAIREKA, GUTHRIE, MAMAKU, NGONGOTAHA and TE PUKE at 06:30 pm and near ROTORUA, MAMAKU, NGONGOTAHA, WAIREKA, GUTHRIE, THE HILLS AND RANGES EAST OF TOKOROA, THE MAMAKU PLATEAU, TAURANGA, TE PUKE and PAPAMOA at 7pm.
These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by very heavy rain and damaging wind gusts.
"Very heavy rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous,"says the weather organisation.
"Very strong wind gusts can break branches from trees, damage roofing, and make driving hazardous especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles."
Thunderstorm watch has been updated and now includes more of Bay of Plenty (everywhere from Tauranga eastwards). Thunderstorm activity has eased over Gisborne and the Watch has been lifted for that district. ^AG https://t.co/mecqbQKqIg— MetService (@MetService) January 26, 2018
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in force for WAIKATO, WAITOMO, TAUMARUNUI, TAUPO, TAIHAPE, BAY OF PLENTY and ROTORUA.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management advises that as storms approach you should:
- Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows;
- Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside;
- Move cars under cover or away from trees;
- Secure any loose objects around your property;
- Check that drains and gutters are clear;
- Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving.
During and after the storm, you should also:
- Beware of fallen trees and power lines;
- Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.
This warning is due to be updated or lifted by 07:00 pm Friday 26 January 2018.