A severe weather warning and thunderstorm watch is in place for Rotorua - with the city in for a wet and potentially thundery day today.

The weather warning is now in place for Rotorua with an active front and band of heavy rain expected to move onto the North Island this afternoon and clear away to the east overnight.

Heavy rain and possible thundery downpours are expected over much of the North Island and a severe thunderstorm watch is in force for Rotorua.

Significant rainfalls of over 100mm are also expected about the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty today. This is a significant amount of rain falling in a relatively short period and will cause rivers and stream levels to rise rapidly.

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There is a high risk of thunderstorms moving through areas including Rotorua with localised rainfall rates generally expected in the 10 to 25mm/hr range.

However, there is a moderate risk that some of these thunderstorms may become severe with localised downpours of 25 to 45mm/hr possible.

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