An overnight storm with winds up to 140km/h is on the way to parts of Hawke's Bay, according to a severe weather warning issued by Metservice.
The warning was issued for areas from Bay of Plenty to Canterbury, predicting rain in Hawke's Bay tonight with increasing northerlies, particularly in more northern areas of Hawke's Bay.
Heavy rain, gales and snow are expected to batter some parts of the country during the next few days, due to a complex weather system forecast to cross New Zealand tonight.
MetService spokesman Daniel Corbett said a storm system would push warm air and northerlies across the North Island, and a southerly front would bring bitterly cold air across the South Island.
In the South Island, snow to low levels was predicted for tonight, with heavy falls of up to 40cm in north Canterbury and inland Marlborough likely to make road travel difficult tomorrow.
WeatherWatch forecaster Howard Joseph said the heaviest rain was expected in the Bay of Plenty and the East Cape, with strong winds further south.