Thunderstorms weaken, move out to sea for east coast after heavy warning of hail greater than 20mm

Earlier this evening, MetService issued an urgent severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the east coast of the North Island. Photo / Getty Images.

MetService issued an urgent severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the east coast of the North Island this evening, forecast to bring hail potentially in excess of 20mm in size.

Severe thunderstorms were spotted by radar near Wairoa and Whakaki around 3:30 p.m., MetService said, but they’re moving quickly east.

The storms were expected to hit the Mahia Peninsula, Nuhaka and Morere around 4 p.m.

MetService has now said the thunderstorms off the coast have been moving and weakening, and has withdrawn the warning.

These thunderstorms were expected to be accompanied by large hail, which could cause significant damage to crops, orchards, vines, greenhouses and vehicles, and make driving conditions dangerous, MetService warned.

This severe weather event is relatively isolated, with the only other alerts nationwide being a strong wave warning for parts of the Wairarapa.

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