A heavy rain watch has been issued for the Eastern Bay of Plenty ranges.

MetService said periods of heavy rain were forecast this evening and Wednesday morning where rainfall could reach warning levels.

Rotorua can expect rain to develop early this afternoon, possibly heavy at times, with fresh northwesterlies and a high of 17C.

A heavy rain watch is also in place for Tongariro National Park with periods of heavy rain expected through to early this evening.