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[MetService has a severe thunderstorm watch in place for much of the South today, including Dunedin.
The forecaster says conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms and hail in North Otago, Central Otago, Dunedin, Clutha and Southland this afternoon and evening.
The thunderstorms were expected to be fairly slow moving and consequently there was a risk they would be severe, with localised downpours (25-35 mm/hour).
"Significant" accumulations of hail were also possible, MetService said.
The forecaster warned that rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas.
Driving conditions would also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in very heavy rain and hail.