A pleasant Easter Weekend is in store for Northlanders after two days of potentially severe rain with potential for floods and slips today and tomorrow.

A severe weather watch issued by MetService late yesterday said a strong northeasterly flow was expected to bring a warm and moist air mass on to the country today and tomorrow but it should clear before Friday.

In Northland, rain is likely to become heavy at times from around noon today but ease to showers tomorrow morning.

Localised downpours are possible, with rainfall rates of about 30mm per hour.


"North-east gales will become severe around the coast and highest hills in Northland. There's also a chance some of these gales will be channelled through gaps in the hills out to the west," senior forecaster Hordur Thordarson said.

He said fine spells with isolated showers are predicted for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with sun predicted all day on Easter Monday.

MetService issues severe weather warnings whenever there is an expectation of more than 50mm of rain within six hours or 100mm within 24 hours.

Also where there is an expectation of snowfall below 1000 metres on the North Island or 500 metres on the South Island with a snow depth of 10cm within six hours or 25cm within 24 hours.

Gales with a minimum mean speed of 90km/h or gusts exceeding 110km/h can also trigger a severe warning.