Conditions are ripe for afternoon thunderstorms in the central North Island during the next few days.

"The right combination of ingredients is coming together," MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said yesterday.

A moist easterly flow was likely to prevail over the North Island and was expected to combine with the daytime heating of the ground and cooler-than-normal air aloft to trigger sporadic outbursts of intense afternoon showers over inland high ground until Thursday.

Mr McDavitt said that once brewed the intense showers were likely to drift around and spread off the hills and across the plains in Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty.

"They will drift at the whim of converging sea breezes," he said.

The afternoon thunderstorms were likely to reach a peak in intensity today, but further intense showers were possible tomorrow and on Thursday.

- NZPA