It's been a wild night for the upper half of the North Island with squally thunderstorms lighting up skies and heavy showers laced with hail, pounding rooftops.
After an active atmospheric Thursday in which a destructive tornado hit a small Far North community, there's similar in store for today with rain likely for most of the North Island and particularly heavy in the West Coast.
Stormy skies are set to darken northern and western parts of the island with thunderstorms peppering and the risk of tornadoes near coastal areas.
MetService is warning of intense localised downpours during thunderstorms with strong wind of up to 100km/h and hail measuring between 5-10mm in diameter.
The forecaster says the risk of small tornadoes was especially high before sunrise.
The warning follows a destructive tornado that touched down in Pukenui, north of Kaitaia, yesterday morning. It took the roof off at least one house, toppled a large boat sitting in a yard, and tossed trampolines skyward and flattened trees.
Forecaster Dan Corrigan said the top of the island had been battered by thunderstorms overnight and this would be the pattern throughout the day.
"Overnight we've been seeing quite a few lightning strikes, particularly in Northland. There's also been quite a few off to the west of the Auckland region."
He said thunder and lightning would continue to sweep over the northern regions across the day.
"It's going to be showers and fine spells but you could see more lightning strikes throughout the day," said Corrigan.
A heavy rain watch is in force for the Buller ranges and parts of Westland with heavy rain expected across the day.
But it wasn't all gloom and doom. Hawke's Bay was in for a beautiful day with the temperature set to reach an unseasonable 20C.
Gisborne city was set to hit 19C, up around 3 degrees higher than normal for August.