November 14, 2011

MetService has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the area from Bay of Plenty through to the central North Island high country, for today.

“This morning, very heavy showers have fallen around Whakatane. Right now,showers are forming along a line over the Rangitaiki Plains, where light westerly winds are meeting light southeasterlies. During the afternoon and evening, this line is expected to drift slowly westwards,” commented MetService Chief Forecaster Peter Kreft.

Kreft went on to say that “This afternoon in particular, thunderstorms could pop up almost anywhere inside the area bounded roughly by Tauranga, Taumarunui, Waiouru, Ruatahuna and Te Araroa. Because these storms are likely to be slow moving, localised downpours of 30 to 40mm/h – enough rain to cause localised flash flooding – is possible. Additionally quite big hail, and possibly large accumulations of hail, is possible.”

Because thunderstorms are very localised, these conditions are expected to occur here and there, but not everywhere. Some parts of Bay of Plenty may not see a shower at all today.

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For further information please contact:
Peter Kreft Chief Forecaster (04)4700 806

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