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Watch: Large tornado spotted in South Canterbury - 'It just grew bigger and bigger'

Motorists in South Canterbury filmed what appeared to be a gigantic tornado ripping through the area this afternoon.

Video sent to 1 NEWS shows the large funnel of dirt sweeping across farmland just south of Rakaia.

Lily Tworogal, who took one of the videos, says she has never seen anything like it.

“Certainly not in New Zealand!” she says.

She was driving north to Christchurch on a family trip when she and her father spotted the tornado.

“First it was a swirl of dust and then just grew bigger and bigger,” she says.

She tells 1 NEWS that several cars pulled over as the tornado swept over the road.

The Fire Service hasn’t had any reports of damage.

MetService could not immediately confirm that a tornado had touched down in the area today, but the agency later said that's most likely what it was given the weather conditions. 

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the area today. The thunderstorm started to pick up after 3pm, MetService said.

Check back for updates to this developing story.