Rotorua has been warned to brace for severe thunderstorms and heavy rain tonight.

MetService has updated its severe thunderstorm warning for Rotorua, Taupo and South Waikato.

It said at 3.45pm, MetService weather radar detected severe thunderstorms near Reporoa, Orakei Korako, Waikite Valley and Golden Springs.

These severe thunderstorms are moving towards the west and are expected to be accompanied by very heavy rain.

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Very heavy rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous

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.

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