MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch as an active front is expected to move northeast over much of central and northern New Zealand today and overnight tonight.
There is a high risk of thunderstorms ahead and with this front for western areas from central Westland to Northland, including Auckland in the overnight hours.
A few of these thunderstorms may be severe bringing damaging wind squalls in excess of 110km/h and possibly one or two damaging tornadoes to the following areas:
Auckland, Northland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty: Overnight Friday to before dawn Saturday.
Central Westland: Friday morning.
Buller and northwest Nelson: Friday morning until mid-afternoon.
Northern Marlborough Sounds: During Friday afternoon.
Kapiti Coast, Horowhenua and Taranaki: During Friday afternoon and evening.
Waitomo, Taumaranui and Waikato: From late Friday afternoon and into the evening.
These squally winds and possible tornadoes may cause some structural damage, including damage to trees and power lines, and make driving hazardous. If any tornadoes occur, they will only affect very localised areas.
Note: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. People in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and monitor for possible Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. The warning is in place until 5am tomorrow.
This watch affects people in the following weather forecast districts:
Great Barrier Island
Bay of Plenty