As Mayfield residents pick up the pieces from a brutal hail storm today, MetService is now predicting heavy downpours and thunderstorms in the foothills.

Shattered windows, dented bonnets, shredded trees and damaged crops had residents in the small Mid Canterbury town counting the cost today of a 15-minute hail storm that hammered a 5-6km belt across the township about 5pm yesterday.

Crop farmers spoken to have estimated the individual damage to amount to more than $500,000 in Mayfield, while the Mayfield Service Centre has called in windscreen experts to make emergency repairs to allow transport business to keep on top of their work.

As if the clean up wasn't hard enough, rain has continued on and off throughout the morning and MetService forecaster Dan Corbett has predicted heavy showers and thunderstorms from Otago to Mid Canterbury, before spreading north through Christchurch and North Canterbury later today.


"Some of these thunderstorms are expected to be severe, especially about South Canterbury and eastern Otago producing localised downpours, large damaging hail, squally winds and possibly a small tornado," Mr Corbett said.