Thunderstorms and heavy downpours likely for Auckland, Waikato

A front carrying heavy rain and possible thunder is due to sweep down from the northwest of the country today, with much of the upper North Island in the firing line.

Rain (file picture). Source:

MetService reports that the front could bring gusts of wind as strong as 80km/h, as well as heavy rain and even small tornadoes in some areas.

The areas with the highest risk of stormy weather are Northland, Auckland, western Waikato and the northern part of Taranaki, starting from this afternoon.

The rain expected to arrive in Auckland around 2pm, but some showers are also expected in the morning.

A lower risk of storms extends throughout Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Kapiti Coast and northern Nelson Tasman.

In the South Island, thunderstorms are possible, including small hail, from this evening in the area of the West Coast and Foirdland.