Photo of large hail stones taken by Lisa Ball after a heavy hail storm in Motueka earlier this year.

Hail on the horizon?

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Metservice have issued a severe thunderstorm watch and say heavy hail may be on the horizon.

“Afternoon heating and cold conditions in the upper atmosphere over the northern South Island are expected to combine to create convection and thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening. “Some of these thunderstorms may become severe due to localised downpours and large hail.”

The hail stones could reach marble sized cause significant damage to crops, orchards, vines, glasshouses and vehicles, as well as make driving conditions hazardous.

The thunderstorm watch was issued over Nelson and Marlborough around 9am this morning and will be updated later this afternoon.