If you are planning on having Friday night drinks bring your raincoat as heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected for Northland.

A severe weather and thunderstorm watch has been issued for Northland tonight and Metservice Meteorologist, Emma Blade, said the heavy rain had just started to hit Cape Reinga.

Ms Blade said rain is expected for all of Northland but in some places amounts could approach warning criteria -- 25mm to 35mm -- especially north of Kaikohe.

She said the time the rain would hit depends on where you are located as it is sweeping down the country. Ms Blade said thunderstorms were also expected to hit Northland tonight.


"The good news is most people will be inside but if you're going out for Friday night drinks bring a rain jacket. It is likely to clear in the morning," she said.

The weather over the weekend is looking a little brighter. Ms Blade said the heavy rain would ease tomorrow morning and then fine spells and a few showers are expected.