A Severe Weather Watch has been issued for parts of the North Island, including the capital, with strong winds expected to hit the country today.

A cold southerly front moving up the country means Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Tararua, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Christchurch and Wellington are all on the watch.

Southerly gales are spreading north from Banks Peninsula to coastal parts of Gisborne today and tomorrow.

Winds of 54km/h have already been recorded around the Manukau Heads, but gusts could get up to 70km/h.


Fortunately the trough which hit the South Island and moved up to the North bringing heavy rain is moving off the island to the east.

While rain is set to ease, warnings are still in place for potentially severe southerly gales throughout Sunday afternoon and evening. The strong winds could carry through to Monday in Wellington, Wairarapa, Tararua and parts of the east coast.

Milford Rd, Lewis, Arthurs, Porters and Lindis pass are all expected to receive some snowfall. Snow showers are expected to bring up to 4cm of snow to Porters Pass. No snow is expected to settle on the roads.

The eastern Bay of Plenty bore the brunt of the bad weather over Saturday, with 160mm recorded in the Haparapara Ranges over a 24-hour period.

Harris Saddle near Edgecumbe was also hit by rain with 76mm recorded. Rotorua and Whitianga received about 40mm while the rest of the Bay of Plenty received around 50mm.

Auckland got off lightly with between 25 and 35mm of rain in parts of the region. However, Monday will see the chance of morning showers.

Wellington too only received 10 to 20mm of rain in the CBD, while Tawa and Wainuiomata received about 15mm. Rain will ease to showers in the morning on Monday with the strong southeasterlies easing.

Much of the North Island will receive more rain this afternoon, with the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne possibly experiencing isolated thunderstorms.