Tauranga residents are being warned of heavy rain expected to hit the Bay tomorrow and most of Thursday.

Metservice issued a severe weather watch this morning, forecasting heavy rain to fall from Wednesday evening in the Bay of Plenty, west of Te Puke.

The watch comes as a moist easterly flow is expected to continue over the North Island until Thursday. Rain is likely to continue in the northeast from the Coromandel Peninsula to Hawkes Bay. This rain could be significant, especially in areas where ground conditions are already saturated.

People are advised to keep to date with the latest forecasts, in case further Watches or Warnings become necessary.