Elevated areas of Hawke's Bay could wake to snow on Friday morning, as a cold snap that could cause havoc for drivers brushes through.

MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said a southerly change sweeping over the region on Thursday night will turn already heavy rain in the region into snow on some of the ranges around Hawke's Bay.

A road warning was in place for State Highway 5, the Napier-Taupo road, with rain turning to snow above 700m overnight.

Between 2cm and 4cm of snow may settle near the summit of the road, Lee said.

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"There is a front that is bringing with it plenty of rain but a southerly wind moving in overnight will undertake most of that rainfall," Lee said.

"That will mean freezing levels will be dropping and we have snow warnings out for Taihape, parts of Hawke's Bay and the Gisborne ranges north of Napier.

"Snowfall warnings are in place from 6pm to 4am on Friday."

Motorists were advised to take care on the road into Friday as wet weather is expected to hang around for most of the day before it starts to settle heading into the weekend.

On Thursday rain poured down in Napier and Hastings with rainfall gauges reading between 25mm and 28.5mm for the day by 3pm.

Wairoa and Central Hawke's Bay weren't as heavily hit with 16mm by 3pm in Wairoa and 8mm in CHB.

Snow, seen here after a severe storm in 2006, may fall on the Napier-Taupo Rd overnight. Photo / File
Snow, seen here after a severe storm in 2006, may fall on the Napier-Taupo Rd overnight. Photo / File