Northlanders need to be prepared for severe thunderstorms set to rock the region tonight and tomorrow morning, with wind gusts of u to 110kmh expected to cause damage across the region and a possibility of tornadoes.

The MetService said a low approaching the North Island tonight is expected to bring thunderstorms to Northland. There is a chance that these thunderstorms become severe tonight and early Friday morning, producing damaging wind gusts of more than 110 km/h.

There is also a possibility of a few tornadoes developing.

Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous. If any tornadoes occur, they will only affect very localised areas.

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MetService will continue to monitor the situation closely for severe thunderstorm development and will issue further updates.

On June 5, this year, a tornado ripped through the Far North coastal settlement of Coopers Beach.

It caused major damage to several home, ripping off roofs, smashing windows and sending debris flying through the air, including embedding a fencepost into the side of a house. Fortunately nobody was injured.

■ 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.

For information on preparing for and keeping safe during a storm, see the Civil Defence Get Ready Get Thru website or go to https://www.metservice.com/national/home.