Soggy June conditions are set to get worse today as severe weather brings predicted downpours to the city.

A weather warning has been issued for Rotorua for between midday and midnight tonight with downpours expected as well as possible thunder.

The heavy rain has been enough to force Arawa Park Racecourse to cancel today's Rotorua race meet, something which rarely happens.

MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said the severe weather warning was for Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty.


Up to 90mm of rain is expected until midnight.

The MetService warned the nature of the short bursts of rain might lead to slips and surface flooding and could make for hazardous driving conditions.

Mr Doolin said the temperatures were also expected to drop slightly. Yesterday's maximum was 14C and today's maximum was expected to be 12C with a low of 8C.

While the rain is expected to drift off, the temperatures will dip by the end of the week with Friday's low predicted to be just 1C.

"Hopefully it's fining up for sport at the weekend but there are frosts possible. Apart from that it's going to be a pretty nice day on Saturday and Sunday."

Meanwhile, Arawa Park Racecourse general manager Damien Radesic said while they were initially going to go ahead with the Rotorua Races, they made the callyesterday to cancel it.

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"We have spoken to our people and they have directed to abort it because the weather is looking too risky. It's no good taking a chance on something we can't control. All the trainers and the owners need to know and we don't want them coming all the way here to have to turn around and go back again."

Mr Radesic said riders, trainers and owners came to the races from all over the North Island.

"To bring a horse to race is thousands of dollars. It's not just time involved. I'd rather have happy people than sad people."

The next Rotorua Races will be the Taumarunui Cup which will be held on Saturday July 30.

"They have been going to Te Rapa but they are going to give Rotorua a go so we have managed to get them to come here for the next three years," Mr Radesic said.

Rotorua weather:
- May 27 - June 27 rainfall: 146.4mm
- Most rain so far in June: 42.4mm on June 23
- June's high so far: 17C
- June's low so far: -2C