The heavy rain that hammered the Bay earlier this morning has given way to partial cloud and sun, though weather experts warn there could be more showers yet to come tonight.

The localised and scattered downpours which pelted the Tauranga area this morning dried out around midday.

Cieran Doolin, MetService meteorologist, said we could be in for intensification from now on with the weather warning of heavy rain still in place for the Bay of Plenty, including Rotorua.

"We still expect there to be considerable accumulations," he said.


The heavy rain warning was issued earlier this morning, and warned about the possibility that rainfall accumulations could reach warning criteria in a short duration.

MetService predicted scattered periods of heavy rain through to midnight tonight, especially this afternoon and evening when thunderstorms were possible.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said meteorologists at WeatherWatch never expected today to be too extreme.

"The downpours were very isolated and we thought for the most part people wouldn't have heavy rain."

However, Mr Duncan said they were seeing downpours forming over the upper North Island that could potentially effect Tauranga later this evening.

"We're seeing one big shower to the northwest of Tauranga, in the Hauraki Plains area. But the Kaimai Ranges might kill it, as often happens."

He said they would be isolated, hit-and-miss, showers, heavy enough to cause some flooding on a small scale.

The sporadic downpours were due to subtropical warm air moving down the country.

Mr Duncan predicted Sunday would see the northerly wind turn westerly, meaning the humidity would drop back and the mugginess would ease back.

"It will be a bit more refreshing out by Sunday night."

By Monday it would be mostly dry, a high pressure coming in bringing pleasant, warm dry weather.

Mr Duncan said it was an unsettled time of year and we would start to see more rain clouds in the coming forecasts but New Zealand was definitely not over the high warm periods.

Police Senior Sergeant Steven Shaw said the weather turned out to be not as bad as initially warned and there had been no major incidents as a result of bad weather.

"We hope drivers are maintaining reasonable behavior and speeds to match the conditions."