A heavy rain watch is in place for parts of Northland with up to 70mm of rain possible from 12 hours from 6pm.

MetService says heavy rain and severe gales are possible for parts of northern and central New Zealand, including Parts of Northland tonight.

For Northland, mainly for the area south of the Bay of Islands a heavy rain watch is in place. MetService said this is valid for 12 hours from 6pm tonight to 6am Tuesday.

The forecast is for a period of heavy rain and rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria, for instance 70mm in 12 hours. That level of rainfall could also lead to surface flooding in parts of the region.

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A deepening sub-tropical low is moving southwards toward the North Island, and is expected to move onto the Bay of Plenty during Tuesday morning and lie near Taranaki by midnight Tuesday. The low will bring heavy rain and gales to many parts of northern and central New Zealand.

People are advised to keep up to date with forecasts as parts of this watch may be upgraded to a full Warning, and new areas may be added.

For the latest weather information go to www.metservice.com.