A severe weather watch has been issued for parts of the central North Island today.
Heavy falls are expected about the hills and ranges of Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and the Tararua District through to Friday morning and possibly longer.
From 9am today to midday Friday, 100-130mm of rain is expected about the hills and ranges, especially south of Gisborne city. Peak rates of around 10mm per hour are likely.
MetService says a slow-moving low to the west of the North Island is directing a moist easterly flow over central and southern parts of the country.
In particular, the hills and ranges of Hawke's Bay and Tararua District between the Napier-Taupo Road and Manawatu Gorge.
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From this morning to midday tomorrow, 100 to 130mm of rain is expected to fall in this area.
The rain has eased in eastern Marlborough and Canterbury north of Cheviot and the warning for these areas is lifted.
However, further light to moderate rain is expected during today and Friday and may become heavy again from tonight.
MetService warns that the "prolonged nature of the rain" and the saturated conditions in these areas may lead to rising streams and rivers and possible surface flooding and slips.
People in these regions are advised to be aware of rising river levels and watch for localised surface flooding and slips and keep up to date with the latest forecasts .
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