The North Island is in for a stormy day with thunderstorms and possible hail expected.

The latest forecast includes a risk of thunderstorms and hail in Northland, with Auckland and Hamilton in line for the bad weather later today.

It follows heavy rain early this morning with surface flooding around Auckland's motorways, with 19mm of rain dumped on the city before 6am.

MetService said the heaviest rain was expected in Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taupō, northern Taranaki including the mountain, Taihape, and Bay of Plenty especially east of Te Puke.

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A northwesterly airflow lies over the country today, bringing wet conditions in the west and a drier day for the east coast, WeatherWatch said.

WeatherWatch said the west of the North Island could expect rain today but the risk of thunder and hail was higher south of Taranaki.

Showers with thunderstorms and hail were also possible on the West Coast of the South Island.

Strong wind advisories are also in place for Auckland's harbours, with 25 knot northwesterlies gusting to 35 knots.

Northwesterly gales are expected for exposed parts of Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula early Friday morning.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Showers and possible squally thunderstorms. Brisk northwesterlies. High 17C, Low 11C

Auckland
Showers, with possible squally thunderstorms and hail, more likely in the afternoon. Gusty northwesterlies. High 15C, Low 10C

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Hamilton
Showers, with squally thunderstorms and hail, more likely in the afternoon. Gusty northwesterlies. High 14C, Low 8C

Tauranga
Periods of rain, chance squally thunderstorms and hail in the afternoon. Gusty northwesterlies. High 15C, Low 9C

New Plymouth
Occasional rain with squally thunderstorms and hail. Gusty northwesterlies. High 14C, Low 6C

Napier
High cloud. Gusty northwesterlies. High 18C, Low 8C

Whanganui
Early morning rain then showers. Gusty northwesterlies. High 15C, Low 7C

Wellington
Early morning rain then a few showers. Strong northwesterlies. High 13C, Low 9C

Nelson
Mainly fine, just a chance of a shower. Northerly breezes. High 13C, Low 4C

Christchurch
Fine with some high cloud. Northerlies. High 15C, Low 1C

Dunedin
Rain clearing early morning then fine with high cloud. Northerlies, dying out evening. High 12C, Low 4C