When Mount Albert resident Mukul Mehta saw tiny white pieces of ice falling onto his rooftop, he thought it could be snowing in Auckland.

He snapped a picture and shared it with the Herald, and said: "Not sure (if) I can call this snow or hail."

But after looking at the photograph, MetService communications meteorologist Lewis Ferris said "it is most definitely hail".

"These intense showery conditions that are prevalent today are forecast to ease tonight," Ferris said.

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Auckland has been hit by severe weather since the morning and strong wind watches are still in place over much of the North Island including Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula and Waitomo.

Did it snow or hail in Mt Albert today? Photo / Mukul Mehta.
Did it snow or hail in Mt Albert today? Photo / Mukul Mehta.

The weather authority is also warning that if there are thunderstorms, the winds could get stronger and even small tornadoes are possible.

People are being warned to remain alert even though the possibility of tornadoes remain a low chance.

A heavy snow watch is in place for Taihape, with snow expected to lower to 600m - with a period of heavy snow about 800m - between 2pm and 9pm today.

"Snow amounts may approach warning criteria above 800m," locals are told.

But the good news is the weather will ease towards evening.

"We're forecasting a few less intense showers to hang around into Thursday morning but they should clear as the day progresses," Ferris added.

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Today's forecast

• Auckland: Temperature high 13C, overnight low 8C. Frequent showers, some possibly heavy and thundery. Strong westerly winds gusting 110km/h in exposed places.

• Kaitaia: 14C, 10C. The same conditions, but strong westerly winds gusting up to 90km/h.

• Whāngārei: 13C, 8C. Frequent showers, some possibly heavy and thundery, easing in the evening. Strong westerlies gusting 90km/h.

• Tauranga: 13C, 3C. Showers, possibly heavy and thundery, easing in the evening and clearing at night. Strong westerlies, possibly gale gusting 90lm/h.

• Hamilton: 11C, 0C. Frequent showers, some possibly heavy and thundery, easing in the evening and clearing at night.

• Gisborne: 13C, 3C. Cloudy periods. Rain from late afternoon as northwesterlies change brisk southerly.

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MetService National Weather: June 8th - July 10th.

• Napier: 13C, 2C. Partly cloudy to start. Rain from late morning as northwesterlies change strong southwest, clearing at night.

• Palmerston North: 10C, 2C. Rain, easing towards evening. Light winds, gusty southwest developing from midday.

• Wellington: 10C, 5C. Showers increasing morning with strong southerly change, gale gusting 90km/h in exposing places for a time. Showers easing late afternoon.

• Nelson: 11C, 0C. High cloud. Southwesterlies developing this morning.

• Christchurch: 9C, 2C. Mostly cloudy. Showers morning and evening with snow lowering to 400m. Brisk southwesterlies.

• Queenstown: 7C, 1C. Occasional snow showers, with brisk southwesterlies.

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• Dunedin: 7C, 4C. Showers, with snow for the higher hill suburbs. Strong southwesterlies.