Waterspouts have been spotted in Auckland this morning as Waiheke Island is battered by a heavy thunderstorm.

WeatherWatch.co.nz said waterspouts had been reported in Auckland's Waitematā Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

"Extreme care is required due to cloud to ground lightning, localised flooding and the chance of a tornado," WeatherWatch said this morning.

Waiheke Island has been hammered by thunderstorms this morning.

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Waterspouts are a whirling column of air and water mist, often formed when there is relatively warm ocean temperatures, much cooler air temperatures and relatively (ambient) light wind.

MetService meteorologist Amy Rossiter said a lingering low pressure system over the North Island today was bringing showers - some heavy - today.

Most areas would be fine today, but eastern Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Auckland could see some heavy showers and thunderstorms.

A ridge of high pressure would form tomorrow before weakening away on Wednesday as a weak front moved north across the country on Thursday.

Late Friday an active front would approach the lower South Island from the Tasman Sea then slowly moves north on Saturday bringing heavy northerly rain with it.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Fine spells and a few showers, possibly heavy with hail until evening. Southwest breezes. 20C high, 11C overnight.

Auckland

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Fine spells and isolated showers. Possible thunderstorms and hail until evening. Southwesterlies. 19C high, 12C overnight.

Hamilton

Fine spells, but a shower or two, with possible thunderstorms and hail, mainly this afternoon. Light winds. 19C high, 8C overnight.

Tauranga

A few showers, possibly heavy with hail, easing this evening. Light winds. 20C high, 13C overnight.

New Plymouth Fine spells increasing. Chance shower until evening. Southeast breezes. 20C high, 11C overnight.

Napier Cloudy. A few showers, possibly heavy with hail, clearing afternoon. Easterly breezes. 20C high, 13C overnight.

Whanganui Fine spells increasing. Chance shower until evening. Southeasterlies. 20C high, 12C overnight.

Wellington Mostly cloudy, some morning drizzle. Strong southerlies gradually easing. 16C high, 12C overnight.

Nelson Chance early rain, then becoming fine. Southerlies dying out morning. 20C high, 10C overnight.

Christchurch Morning low cloud or fog, then fine. Cloud returns at night. Afternoon northeast breezes. 17C high, 7C overnight.

Dunedin Morning and evening low cloud or fog, otherwise fine. Light winds. 18C high, 11C overnight.