Parts of the North Island are being pummeled by wind and rain this morning.
MetService has issued heavy rain and strong wind watches for some places including the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.
A deepening low is slowly moving over the Tasman Sea directing a moist north to northeast flow over central and northern New Zealand, MetService said in a statement.
An associated front has moved across central and northern areas from the west and will move away to the east later today.
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This front is preceded by a period of heavy rain and strong to gale force northeast winds, with watches and warnings in force for many parts of central and northern New Zealand.
A heavy rain warning is in place for the eastern ranges of Bay of Plenty from 8am to 4pm today. Expect 60 to 90mm of rain to accumulate, with localised downpours of 25 to 40mm/h this afternoon.
A heavy rain watch is in place for the Coromandel Peninsula from 3am to 9am on today. The forecast is for a period of heavy rain, localised downpours of 25 to 40mm/h possible, and rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria.
There is a strong wind watch in place for coastal Bay of Plenty east of Te Puke from 9am to 2pmy. The forecast is for northeast winds which may approach a severe gale in exposed places.
Meanwhile, the forecast for Rotorua today is for rain, heavy at times, turning to showers in the afternoon, some heavy and thundery until late evening, easing at night. The high is 15C and the low 8C.
Tauranga residents can expect rain, heavy at times, turning to showers by afternoon, some heavy and thundery until evening, easing at night. The high is 17C and the low 10C.