Heavy rain and possibly thunderstorms are expected to hit parts of the North Island Sunday

MetService has a severe weather warning in place for most of the country tonight, with strong to gale force winds and rain forecast for the South Island.

The gusty, wet weather was likely to arrive in the North Island tomorrow morning and would hit Auckland around midday.

"It is a very unstable, showery situation," said MetService meteorologist Sarah Haddon.

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"There could be squally thunderstorms, gusts, and even some hail."

The heaviest rain is expected along the South Island's West Coast and the lower North Island. Around 10mm of rain an hour is forecast for Auckland in the middle of the day.

There is a strong wind warning in place for Wellington, where severe northwest gales could reach 120km/h.

The wild weather would give way to showers in the evening.