Cyclone Gita's expected to transition from a Category 2 cyclone to an ordinary low between 7pm and midnight tonight.

"Former Cyclone Gita" will be its title from then on before it was expected to hit New Zealand.

MetService meteorologist Andy Best said it would "impact the upper North Island to a lesser extent than first thought".

In Rotorua, scattered rain was expected to develop to a few showers in the evening.

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Tomorrow former Cyclone Gita will "indirectly" bring northerly winds and rain to Rotorua, when it passes over the centre of New Zealand to the south.

It was expected to travel from the east, covering an area from Taranaki to Canterbury.

The rain in Rotorua was expected to become more persistent on Tuesday and then ease overnight.

"Northerlies will be getting stronger in the afternoon, rising to gales in exposed places and easing overnight. "

The effects of the storm were predicted to clear on Wednesday for a fine day.

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence has been meeting for the last week to prepare for Cyclone Gita.

In a statement, Group Controller Jono Meldrum said that residents should take time to prepare their properties for high winds and secure large outdoor items such as trampolines.

He also said gutters and spouting should be cleared, and residents should keep a close eye on the latest updates from MetService.

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