A heavy rain watch has been issued for the Bay of Plenty region this morning.

Metservice issued the watch as a broad trough of low pressure lies over the North Island.

A sub-tropical low within this trough was expected to move south today and during Friday but there was uncertainty over the future track of the low - resulting in the watch for the Bay of Plenty.

Heavy rain was also expected to affect Coromandel Peninsula, Gisborne and the ranges of Hawkes Bay from Thursday evening until late Friday.

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Up to 140mm of rain was expected to fall in the eastern Bay of Plenty from tonight, with the wider Bay expected to experience significant rain from tonight also.