Thunderstorms are on the way for much of the North Island with MetService issuing a watch for "severe" storms and heavy rain overnight and into Sunday morning.

Between about 3am and 10am Sunday morning, a few of these thunderstorms may be severe about Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel Peninsula, Waitomo, Taumarunui and North Taranaki, with localised downpours of 20-40mm an hour, MetService said.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in place until 10am Sunday, meaning conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area.

People in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions.


Heavy rain was also forecast for the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne north of Ruatoria thanks to a broad low over the Tasman sea is directing a moist northerly flow over the North Island, which would linger through to Monday.

The heaviest rain was expected about eastern Bay of Plenty east of Whakatane and Gisborne north of Ruatoria, and a warning was put in place on Saturday night, lasting until 9am on Sunday.

Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous, MetService said.