Thunderstorms possible in Hawke's Bay this afternoon

Thunderstorms are expected to batter parts of Hawke's Bay this afternoon, bringing with them heavy rain and possible hail.

Storm clouds

Storms have been detected near the northern Ruahine Range and Kereru, according to MetService.

The storms are expected to move northeast near Sherenden and Kereru at 4.07pm, before hitting near Sherenden at 4.37pm.

"Sea breeze convergence is likely to trigger significant showers over the central and eastern North Island this afternoon and early evening," MetService said.

"There could be some thunderstorms and there is a chance that some of these may be severe in Hawkes Bay, the east of Taupo and the south of Gisborne.

"These localised storms could be accompanied by hail larger than 20mm and rainfall rates greater than 25mm per hour.

"Large hail can cause significant damage to crops, orchards, vines, glasshouses and vehicles, as well as make driving conditions hazardous.

"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.

"Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain."

People have been advised to take shelter and prepare to slow down or stop while driving if rain becomes heavy.