Weather: Heavy rain and thunderstorms for parts of the North Island, tornadoes possible

Heavy rain, thunderstorms, cold temperatures and the chance of small tornadoes are in store for parts of the country, forecasters warn.

It could be a wet start to Wednesday for some areas as bad weather makes its way across the country.

An area of ​​low pressure is forecast to be west of central New Zealand tomorrow morning, with an associated band of rain embedded in thunderstorms spreading southwards across the North Island.

While overnight cloud will mean warmer temperatures for northern parts of the North Island compared to last week, the day is forecast to start with a moderate risk of thunderstorms for Northland and Auckland.

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MetService predicts that these thunderstorms will produce locally heavy rainfall in the range of 10 to 25 mm/h. There is a low risk that one or two heavy thunderstorms around Northland will produce rainfall of up to 40mm/hour.

“The thunderstorms may also bring wind gusts of 80-90 kilometers per hour, and there is a low risk of one or two small tornadoes in coastal areas,” MetService said.

The risk of thunderstorms is spreading further south, affecting the Coromandel Peninsula, northern Waikato and the Waitomo coast later in the morning and northern Taranaki and the western Bay of Plenty by midday.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said the low-pressure system will bring “quite a bit of rain”, especially in the eastern Bay of Plenty and the top of the South Island.

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“Most of the North Island will see some rain and while it continues to pour over the rest of the country, there will also be plenty of cloud and rain at the top of the South Island.”

Heavy rain warnings will be in effect for Tasman, approximately and west of Motueka, for 13 hours from 4am on Wednesday and for the eastern Bay of Plenty from 9am. Precipitation amounts may approach warning criteria.

Meanwhile, temperatures at the top of the North Island will be slightly higher than last week, with a high of 20 degrees Celsius forecast in Northland and Auckland.

The rest of the North Island will see highest temperatures in the mid to high teens, while lowest temperatures will be in the high single digits.

MetService predicts it will be cold again in the South Island tonight, with temperatures as low as 2 degrees Celsius.

Makgabutlane said the lower half of the South Island will see “beautiful, clear conditions” throughout Wednesday.