Thunderstorms are still expected to hammer through Auckland this afternoon, bringing hail, heavy rain and strong gusts.

The severe weather is creeping in from the west and is forecast to move into South Auckland.

Thunderstorms are coming in a repetitive line over that area, risking lightning strikes and flooding, WeatherWatch has reported.

Heavy downpours are expected to move down the western and central parts of the North Island over the next few days as a complex low-pressure system slowly moves over the country.

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A heavy rain watch is in force for some western regions of the North Island until 6am tomorrow, as bursts of heavy showers could mean accumulations could reach warning criteria, MetService reported.

There was a moderate risk of thunderstorms within broader areas of rain about western parts of Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Waitomo during the afternoon, as well as the eastern Bay of Plenty in the afternoon and early evening.

The walk home from work could be a wet one Aucklanders. Photo/ file
The walk home from work could be a wet one Aucklanders. Photo/ file

MetService meteorologist Brian Mercer said Tongariro National Park received 30 to 50mm or rainfall last night.

"They are continuing to get 3 to 5mm an hour and that is expected to continue through the day, easing by the afternoon."

These thunderstorms would be accompanied by localised heavy rain of 10-20mm/h and small hail.

The thunderstorms may be squally about Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Waitomo with wind gusts of 80 to 100km/h.

A heavy rain watch is in place for Taranaki and the King Country, including the Tongariro National Park until 9am Thursday.

Snowfall warnings were also in place for the Desert Rd, State Highway 1, Lewis Pass, SH7 and Milford Rd, SH94, until 11am Thursday.

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This morning in the North Island the Desert Rd was at freezing temperature recording 0C, while Taupō was at 4.5C.

In the South Island, Pūkaki recorded -3.2C, Christchurch Airport -1.3C while Alexandra in Central Otago was a chilly -1.1C.