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MetService warns of severe thunderstorm risk for upper North Island

MetService is warning there is a risk of severe thunderstorms for the upper North Island this afternoon into the evening.

It comes as flights were temporarily halted at Hamilton Airport due to a lightning storm that was captured on camera earlier today.

According to MetService, a low moving over the North Island is bringing a high risk of thunderstorms to northern and western areas from Northland to Taranaki, and a broad moderate risk of thunderstorms to areas further east.

"These thunderstorms are expected to be squally with hail and brief heavy rain, and there is a moderate risk that some of them may become severe in Northland and Auckland north of Orewa," MetService says.

The thunderstorms may come with damaging wind gusts in excess of 110km/h.

"These squally winds may cause some structural damage, including damage to trees and power lines, and make driving hazardous."

MetService has the warning in place until 8pm tonight.