Tropical conditions are expected to bring thunderstorms to parts of the central North Island from this afternoon, MetService says.

The eastern Bay of Plenty was hit by thunderstorms, hail and lightening strikes yesterday with areas in Rotorua and Taupo receiving a deluge of isolated rain in short periods of time.

The weather system, bringing muggy high temperatures and little wind, is expected to move north up the country today with Waikato and inland Bay of Plenty and Rotorua due to bear the brunt.

From this afternoon and into the evening there was a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms and downpours around the central high country, and a high risk of thunderstorms in inland central North Island areas which could bring heavy rain.


Thunderstorms were also predicted for inland Marlborough, Nelson, Buller and northern Canterbury.

Yesterday's thunderstorms brought power outages to the eastern Bay of Plenty and the North Island experienced 11,323 lightning strikes - the most recorded in one day so far this year.

Meanwhile the heat is set to stick around Auckland with highs of 29 degrees expected, and lows of 20 degrees overnight. Humidity is at 92 per cent.