A severe weather watch is in place for Rotorua as the city gets set for heavy rain.

Metservice has issued the severe weather watch after a very moist, sub-tropical airmass covering the North Island was expected to bring bursts of heavy rain and showers to the northern part of New Zealand today and tomorrow.

The severe weather watch is in place for Rotorua, Taupo and the Bay of Plenty until tonight with forecasters warning of the possibility of heavy rain approaching warning criteria.

People are advised to keep up to date with forecasts in case it is upgraded to a warning.