Greymouth has been put on alert as a line of severe thunderstorms nears the West Coast town.

MetService has issued the top priority warning saying the weather radar has detected a line of severe storms poised to strike the region.

The thunderstorms were moving towards the east-northeast and expected to lie near Greymouth at 07:07am and Punakaiki, including Ngahere to Arthurs Pass, at 7:37am.

MetService warned the thunderstorms may be accompanied by damaging wind gusts with the potential to break branches, damage roofs, and make driving hazardous especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.