Mow the lawns in the morning, light the fire and settle in for the afternoon - the rain is coming.

The weekend weather forecast sees the city and surrounding districts in for a solid drenching tomorrow through to Sunday.

The MetService forecasted rain from the north and west to hit tomorrow and become heavier on Sunday, spreading to the eastern Bay of Plenty as the wind changes to the southwest.

The agency has issued a severe weather warning for Rotorua and eastern ranges as a series of embedded troughs are expected to sweep over most of the region, bringing heavy bursts of rain until Monday.

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Trampers should keep a vigilant watch on up-to-date weather warnings.

Rotorua weather analyst Brian Holden said the unpredictable weather is normal, but late for this time of year.

"Winter just hasn't wanted to let go ... we are still getting frosts like we did this week, followed by a glorious day, and now we are going to get some rain."

Rotorua had received about 80mm of rain this month, still less than the average of about 120mm for September, he said.

"The rain fall is normal but just a bit later - it's been in fits and starts."

The dodgy weather is likely to affect crowd numbers at major outdoor events in Rotorua this weekend.

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