UPDATED — A cold front is expected to move quickly northwards over central New Zealand on Thursday morning bringing a short period of heavy showers with possible thunder and hail.
The most likely area for thunderstorms is about southwestern parts of the North Island from Taranaki to the Kapiti Coast a couple of hours either side of dawn. These thunderstorms are likely to be quite squally, with brief heavy rain and hail, and possibly even one or two small short-lived tornadoes.
There is a lower risk of thunderstorms in other western areas from Port Waikato to Westport, and also about Wairarapa and coastal Hawkes Bay as indicated on the chart. Heavy squally showers with hail are more likely in these areas.
– Homepage image / Simon Williams