Bay of Plenty residents are in for a wet and windy hump day, as strong gusts and heavy rain batter the region.

Metservice has issued a strong wind watch for the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty from 8am this morning through to 4pm.

West to southwesterly winds may become severe gales during this time.

Rotorua, Whakatāne and Tauranga can expect rain, possibly heavy, with hail and thunder easing this afternoon and clearing this evening.

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The biggest downpours are expected from about 8am this morning for Rotorua, then hitting Tauranga and Whakatāne about midday. All three centres were also hit with rain overnight.

FORECAST:

Rotorua: Showers, chance heavy with hail, easing afternoon and clearing evening. Brisk westerly changing southerly and gradually easing. High of 14C, low of 3C.

Tauranga: Showers, chance heavy with hail and thunder, easing afternoon and clearing evening. Strong west to southwesterlies. High of 17C, low of 6C.

Whakatāne: Showers, chance heavy with hail and thunder, easing afternoon and clearing evening. Brisk west to southwesterlies. High of 17C, low of 4C.