A severe weather watch has been issued for Rotorua and Bay of Plenty with heavy rain drenching the city this morning.

The MetService issued the watch for the region as an active front with thunderstorms was forecast to slowly cross the North Island.

For the Bay of Plenty, mainly east of Rotorua, rain is expected to become heavy at times and should ease in the afternoon.

Rainfall may reach 15 to 30mm per hour with the public urged to watch out for localised surface flooding.

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Tomorrow showers gradually clear over the North Island as the low moves away to the east.

This is then followed by a settled Wednesday for the North Island.

Video from Fleur Harvey