A severe weather watch has been issued for much of the North Island including Rotorua.

Periods of rain are likely in the region with possible heavy falls and gales.

Tonight's Rotorua Night Market on Tutanekai St has been cancelled.

Snow showers are likely on the Desert Rd overnight and 2 to 4cm may settle near the summit on Friday morning.

Meanwhile the ‎NewZealand Transport Agency‬ are replacing the Utuhina Bridge rail on Old Taupo Road near Rotorua Boys High School today and delays are expected if travelling north.

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