A severe weather warning has been issued for Auckland as the heavy downpour that battered the top of Northland moves slowly down the country, bringing heavy rain and possibly thundery showers.

MetService have issued a warning for Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty.

Meteorologist Douglas Mason earlier said an easterly flow had caused high rainfall along the coast, with some parts of the sodden north getting between 80mm and 100mm of rain in the past 24 hours.

"There is the odd thunderstorm, mainly offshore, but that thunderstorm risk will persist through the morning and lessen through the afternoon in some parts of Northland," Mason said.

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The warning has lifted in Northland but is now in place for Auckland until 6pm and Coromandel until 9pm. Bay of Plenty can expect a battering up until 6am tomorrow. MetService has warned that surface flooding and slips are possible. Driving conditions could be hazardous, too.

Gale-force winds are battering the North Island this morning in the Brett, Kaipara, Colville, Raglan, Bay of Plenty and Stephens areas.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued by MetService yesterday for Northland due to a frontal rainband in the north Tasman Sea.

The low was expected to move slowly southeastwards during Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing a strong, cold south to southwesterly flow to the South Island.

During Wednesday and early Thursday, heavy rain was likely about Marlborough and Canterbury, north of about Timaru, with heavy snow likely above 400 metres.

Today's forecast
Auckland: Rain, with heavy falls and possible thunderstorms, easing evening. Northeast, gale in exposed places this morning. 18C 13C
Hamilton: Periods of rain and gusty easterlies. 15C 11C
Tauranga: Periods of rain, with heavy falls. Strong northeasterlies. 17C 12C
Wellington: Mostly cloudy. Occasional light rain this evening. Southeasterlies. 14C 10C
Christchurch: Mostly cloudy with drizzle. Northeasterlies developing afternoon. 11C 7C
Dunedin: Long fine spells. Northeast breezes. 11C 6C
Source: MetService