A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for the Bay of Plenty.

Metservice said in a written statement that the watch affected Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Gisborne, along with the Bay of Plenty.

An active front should move over the upper North Island this afternoon and evening and clear the East Cape tonight.

This front is expected to bring thunderstorms to many areas, according to Metservice.

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There is a chance that some of these thunderstorms may become severe and bring damaging wind gusts of 110km/h or stronger (mainly near the coast) from Northland to Waikato and Coromandel Peninsula this afternoon and early evening, and Bay of Plenty and the ranges of Gisborne late afternoon through to tonight.

Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous.

For information on preparing for and keeping safe during a storm, see the Civil Defence Get Ready Get Thru website.