Time to dust off the hat and scarves, things are about to turn cold and windy.

Heavy rain, which drenched Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty Friday will clear from Saturday, leaving mostly sunshine and southerlies.

It was the subject of a severe weather warning issued for the area, as a cold front travels southeast across the North Island.

MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said the rain would clear, but Tauranga could expect temperatures to fall to single digits, with lows of 7C and 6C on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

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"Things will get significantly cooler. And definitely in inland areas towards Rotorua, they could be in line for some frosts," Ms Murray said.

"It's time to change the bedding and get the hat and scarves ready."

Ms Murray said there had been significant rain throughout Friday, with some rainfall measuring an intensity of 25mm an hour.

"That's a decent downpour."

Ms Murray said much of the wider Bay of Plenty which was already waterlogged was expected to fare worst from the rain.

A major slip on State Highway 2 near Taneatua was a reflection of this, she said.

Ms Murray said much of the eastern Bay of Plenty, leading into the Gisborne ranges, was still experiencing heavy rain and high winds as things were easing off in Tauranga.

A breakdown of Tauranga's rainfall showed peak intensities of up to 15.9mm of rain falling from 2pm to 4pm.

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The severe weather warning said a front was moving slowly eastwards across the North Island and a low, formerly Cyclone Donna, over Northland was expected to move south on Friday, before moving east later in the day.

For parts of the Bay of Plenty and the ranges of Gisborne between 150mm and 200mm of rain was expected to accumulate. Lower parts of the Bay were expected to receive 80mm to 110mm. Localised downpours could have intensities of 25mm to 40mm an hour.