Heavy rain drenches much of North Island, upper South

A week of wild weather comes amid warnings that marine heatwave conditions currently enveloping...
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Downpours are expected into Saturday as heavy rain continues to lash parts of New Zealand.

Friday has already delivered rain and thunderstorms for many as a complex trough has moved over the country, affecting Auckland, Northland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Taupō, Bay of Plenty and Tasman.

An orange heavy rain warning was in place for Bay of Plenty and Rotorua until midnight with 25mm to 35mm an hour possible during downpours and thunderstorms, MetService said.

A "large" slip had blocked off a section of State Highway 2, near Pikowai in Bay of Plenty, on Friday evening, police said.

Diversions were in place at the intersections of SH2/Arawa Road and SH2/Otamarakau Valley Road.

A similar weather warning was in place until 11pm for Tasman northwest of Motueka, with up to 80mm expected before then.

Meanwhile, for those living in southeast of Motueka and Marlborough northwest of the Wairau River heavy rain should come to an end about the same time.

Heavy rain watches were in place for Taupō (until 9pm), Mt Taranaki (until 8pm) and Gisborne north of Tokomaru Bay (until midnight).

Aucklanders were being told those willing to face the elements might have to endure spells of heavy rain throughout the evening.

The forecast was not looking much better for Saturday with rain becoming widespread by midday.

By Saturday morning most of the rain would have cleared in other parts of the country but showers may pepper the western coasts of both the North and South Islands, with Sunday likely to bring much of the same.

"After a damp day on Friday, there might even be some afternoon sunshine around Mystery Creek on Saturday for those attending Fieldays," MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said.

In the other main centres, heavy rain was likely to ease to showers and then some sunshine in Wellington on Saturday.

Rain was also likely to clear to a fine day for Christchurch with a similar forecast for Dunedin although it would remain cloudy.

While higher parts of the South Island would see some snow during the unsettled spell, it was unlikely to be snowfall needed to really kick off the season for the skifields, Ferris said.