Rotorua appears to have escaped the worst of the weather as Cyclone Hola battered other parts of the North Island on Monday night.

MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said rain was forecast for Rotorua until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Easterly winds were expected to strengthen overnight, but would not be "too severe", he said.

A wind warning was still in place as of tonight.


Loots said upper Northland and Auckland had been the hardest hit by this evening, with parts of Northland getting 70mm of rain.

About 5mm of rain had fallen in Rotorua by 6.30pm, with 20.6mm forecast for today in total.

Tonight Rotorua Lakes Council's civil defence emergency controller Stavros Michael said the necessary staff were on standby and procedures were in place if the weather got worse, but he was hopeful Rotorua would escape the worst of it.

"It's better to be prepared than not," he said.

Senior Sergeant Steven Shaw of Rotorua police said it was "business as usual" in terms of staffing in the region, but police would reassess if conditions changed drastically.

"From what I can hear we've been to a number of car crashes and are asking people to drive to the conditions."‚Äč

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The threat of bad weather led to Mokoia Intermediate in Rotorua postponing the start of a school camp for around 100 students because of the poor forecast.

A third of the school was meant to head to Thornton Beach in Whakatane this morning, but they would go tomorrow instead once the storm had passed.

Principal Rawiri Wihapi said the group would now be there from tomorrow to Friday.

"It was a hard call to make but it's better to take the precaution for the health and safety of the kids."

More bad weather could be on the way, with another system forming in the Coral Sea, just south of the Solomon Islands.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said it could be named Tropical Cyclone Linda sometime in the next few days.

"There is a lot of variation at the moment. There is a chance it could affect New Zealand, but significant chance it could affect Australia.

"But at the moment it could go anywhere. We need to deal with [Hola] first."

If a new cyclone did start tracking for New Zealand it would not arrive until next weekend at the earliest, he said.