Weather: Coastal flooding possible as NZ readies for storm

Residents of coastal areas on the east of the North Island are being warned to brace themselves for flooding as heavy rain sweeps through the country.

The severe weather is expected to strike on Thursday, and will rip through New Zealand until the early hours of Friday, MetService warns.

Both heavy rain and gale northeasterlies are anticipated for the upper North Island, with Northland, Auckland, the Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel likely to face the brunt of it. Mt Taranaki, Marlborough and Nelson will also be hit by the storm.

MetService is warning that the combination of high tides and strong winds could wreak havoc in coastal areas from Northland down to the Bay of Plenty along the east coast, with coastal flooding a real threat there.

Northland and Auckland will face the worst of the winds, according to MetService, with northeasterly gusts up to 120km/h in exposed places.

Nelson, Marlborough, Mt Taranaki, the Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel are all likely to get heavy rain, with as much as 150mm expected in some places.

The bad weather is anticipated to be completely gone by Saturday, with the low causing it shifting to the southeast of the country by then.