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Thunder, heavy rain possible for Northland this Christmas afternoon and evening

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There’s a possibility of heavy rain and thunder across Northland this Christmas afternoon and evening as a deeply moist northerly flow bears down on the country

Christmas Day afternoon and evening could be ruined for many in Northland with a severe thunderstorm watch in place for the region, with flash flooding and slips a possibility.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Taihape for nine hours from 1pm today.

The news is likely to disrupt the Christmas Day plans of many visitors and locals across the region.

MetService said a deeply moist northerly flow affects the upper North Island today. Periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms are likely and these thunderstorms may become severe bringing localised rainfall rates of 25 to 40 mm per hour.

Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.

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.

People can keep n eye on the situation by going to www.metservice.com/warnings/home.

For information on preparing for and keeping safe during a storm, see the Civil Defence Get Ready website www.civildefence.govt.nz/get-ready



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