Metservice has issued a severe weather watch for Hawke's Bay, with thunderstorms predicted for much of the central and northern North Island.

Metservice issued a warning, saying people should take shelter if they saw severe weather approaching.

They said there was a moderate risk that some thunderstorms across the North Island could become severe, with localised downpours of 25 to 40mm/hr and large hail 20 to 25mm in diameter.

Hastings District Council issued a warning about the weather on their Facebook Page.

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"MetService New Zealand has issued a thunderstorm watch for Hawke's Bay, expecting us to be hit late afternoon, early evening."

They said for further updates keep an eye on the Hawke's Bay Civil Defense website at www.hbemergency.govt.nz/.

The warning covers all of Hawke's Bay as well as Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne and Taihape.