The region is waking up to a drenching and it's set to get worse.

A front is forecast to slide north across central and northern New Zealand, bringing a shift in the weather for many parts of the country.

MetService meteorologist Melissa Oosterwijk said 6.5mm of rain was recorded at Tauranga Airport in half an hour this morning while 30mm was recorded in 6 hours in the Eastern Bay of Plenty ranges.

Rotorua had 6mm recorded in 6 hours.

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Surface flooding on Elizabeth St. Photo / Supplied
Surface flooding on Elizabeth St. Photo / Supplied

The Rotorua Lakes Council has said all sports field in Rotorua will be shut for the rest of the day.

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A heavy rain warning is in place for the entire Bay of Plenty with 100-150mm of rain expected for the ranges and over 50mm for urban areas, Oosterwijk said.

HEADS UP: Due to the expected heavy rain today, ALL sports fields will be closed for the rest of the day.

Posted by Rotorua Lakes Council on Wednesday, 3 July 2019

There were reports of surface flooding in Tauranga this morning.

The New Zealand Transport Agency issued a caution warning to Tauranga for surface flooding on State Highway 2, Takitimu Drive between Elizabeth St and Waihi Rd going both directions.

There is no detour in place and the caution is in place until further notice.

The rain is set to ease tonight with showers forecast tomorrow.

MetService said heavy rain could cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly and driving conditions could hazardous.

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People are advised to stay up to date with the latest warnings and watches in case areas are upgraded or added.

Meanwhile a tree is blocking both lanes on Rangiuru Rd, near Oak Drive.

Police were called to the blockage at 6.33am this morning.

Tauranga Council has been notified.