It's set to be a wet weekend for most with heavy rain warnings and watches in place for parts of the North Island and thunderstorms expected in Taranaki, Marlborough and Nelson.

Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are the only areas expected to get clear skies today. However, they'll get some light rain tomorrow.

The MetService is forecasting a front to sweep over the upper South Island and western parts of the North Island today, bringing heavy rain and possible thunderstorms, before moving slowly northward tomorrow.

Revellers heading to one of several events around Auckland - including Pasifika and Ed Sheeran's concerts - should pack a brolly and raincoat. Showers are expected to become more frequent in the region later today and there's a chance of thunderstorms.

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The third day of the Black Caps test match against England is due to start at 2pm at Eden Park, weather permitting.

Tomorrow, Auckland will get occasional rain and possible heavy falls during the afternoon.

It will be a rainy afternoon in Hamilton - and thunderstorms and heavy falls are possible there too. Tomorrow, the weather looks likely improve slightly as occasional rain is predicted to clear at night.

MetService is warning Taranaki residents to watch out for surface flooding and slips on the roads. Heavy rain may cause stream and rivers to rise quickly in the area.

Up to 35mm of rain per hour could fall during thunderstorms in Taranaki this afternoon.

Periods of heavy, thundery rain is expected to drench Otorohanga, Waitomo and Taumarunui between 4pm today and 6am tomorrow. MetService says rainfall accumulations may meet warning criteria.

Tauranga locals will likely wake to a few showers this morning, but rain could become heavy there during the afternoon. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, too.

Clouds are lingering over Wellington and rain is set to develop this afternoon before easing tonight. But tomorrow the weather should improve in the capital. Cloud and a few showers moving north of the city are on the cards.

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Christchurch is expected to have morning rain easing to a couple showers by this afternoon. It should clear up this evening and tomorrow will be fine a day in the garden city.

Further south, in Dunedin, occasional rain will develop this morning and there's a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. The weather will be changeable tomorrow - the morning will start out cloudy then turn fine before showers begin during the afternoon and clear that evening.

Tomorrow, the West Coast and central North Island look set to get the worst of the rain. Bay of Plenty and northern parts of Taupo could get enough rainfall for warnings to be issued.

Today's forecast
Whangarei: Few showers. High of 23C
Auckland: Showers - frequent during afternoon and evening - and possible thunderstorms. 22C high
Hamilton: Rain and possible thunderstorms. 22C high
Tauranga: Few showers, rain during afternoon and possible heavy falls. High of 22C
Wellington: Cloudy and showery, then rain. High of 20C
Christchurch: Rain, easing to or two showers. 19C high
Dunedin: Occasional rain, possible thunderstorms. High of 18C