Waterspouts have been spotted ripping through Napier amid large thunderstorms pummelling across the North Island.
Aimee Whiting noticed the waterspout - which is a water funnel resembling a tornado - from Emerson St in the town's CBD, calling it "pretty crazy".
The wild wet water was due to a low-pressure system crossing the North Island, the MetService said.
Forecasters reported showers, squally thunderstorms and hail from the Tasman Sea was due to hit in the afternoon and would likely stick around until midnight.
Just before 5.30pm, Luke Covich spotted a waterspout in Napier from Te Mata Peak.
Earlier today, a large thunderstorm was pummelling Hamilton.
Cambridge resident Cassie Jones said the "impressive" storm produced "the loudest thunder I've ever heard".
Another Waikato resident, who did not want to be named, told the Herald the lightning was "sudden and fast", like a tropical storm all packed into five minutes.
"Constant rolling thunder, then heavy lightning strikes, with one hitting the house across the road and huge loud booms that shook the house.
"Hail, heavy rain, wind ... it was like all the seasons came at once ... the thunder just continued with no break in between," she said.
Strong northwesterlies will likely change to strong southwesterlies this afternoon, bringing gusts of up to 100km/h before easing tonight, MetService reports.
MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said earlier a low-pressure system would be crossing the upper North Island from midday.
Auckland would feel the brunt of the wet weather at about 7pm before it started to clear, Hines said.
The forecaster reported that widespread showers would be patchy and were likely to cover most regions of the North Island from this afternoon to this evening.
Wind gusts are moving up the country from the south, bringing slightly cooler temperatures.
Niwa Weather reports that while Auckland has had temperatures of up to 25C this week, it was expected to drop to about 20C today.
In contrast, most of the South Island will remain dry for the remainder of the day, with the exception of Otago and Southland where light showers could be expected.