Flooding has forced the closure of a street in residential Papamoa this afternoon as heavy rain drenches the region.

The section of Grenada St between Sandhurst Dr and Sunrise Ave has been coned off and Tauranga City Council warns the road will be closed overnight.

We're going to close a section of Grenada Street this afternoon: the link between Sandhurst Dr and Sunrise Ave. The road will be closed overnight and reassessed in the morning.

Posted by Tauranga City Council on Monday, 3 April 2017

By 3pm more than 40mm of rain has fallen on Tauranga. At least another 50mm is still expected, with a total rainfall forecast of 99.5mm.

Metservice issued a severe weather warning today for the area, warning of heavy rain which was expected to continue until Thursday morning.

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In the 43 hours from 11am today until 6am Thursday, 200mm to 350mm of rain could accumulate. Peak intensities of 25mm to 45mm could fall and thunderstorms were possible.

The wet weather comes from a deepening low over the Tasman Sea moves southeast towards New Zealand. The low directs a moist northerly flow onto the North Island and a slow moving trough is expected to lie over the central North Island.

The low is forecast to cross central New Zealand early Thursday morning, and then both the low and trough move away to the east and southeast. Heavy rain is already falling in many places, especially in the vicinity of the trough, and is expected to continue until the passage of the low and trough early Thursday morning.

The heaviest rain is expected from Northland to Whanganui, including Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, the central plateau, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and the Kaikoura Coast. Rainfall totals could exceed 200mm in some areas. There is also potential for thunderstorms and downpours with hourly rainfall rates of 25mm to 35mm or possibly more.

This is a significant amount of rain and people are advised to watch out for rapidly rising rivers and streams, flooding and slips.