Weather: Warning to motorists as storm lashes New Zealand

Motorists heading home from an Easter holiday are being warned to take extra care on the roads as a storm lashes New Zealand.

A slow-moving front is pushing over the North Island this Easter Sunday and Monday, bringing with it downpours and offshore lightning strikes.

"Heavy rain watches and warnings are in force over parts of the North Island and the upper eastern coasts of the South Island," MetService warns on Facebook.

"The largest rain accumulations with this front are expected over the North Taranaki and western Nelson today and the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty during Monday."

It could lead to dangerous driving conditions with slippery roads and poor visibility.

The Easter holiday period began at 4pm on Thursday 18 April and ends at 6am on Tuesday 23 April.

So far, there have been no Easter holiday road deaths, compared to last year when there were seven. If no one dies, it will be the first non-fatal Easter since 2012, and only the second since 1980.

But with heavy rain hitting the country and days left until the holiday ends, there are fears the death toll could rise.

"Those on the move in affected areas are recommended to keep an eye on the forecast as if you are caught out in poor road conditions it is likely it will remain that way for at least a couple hours," MetService warns.

The front is expected to slowly move east on Monday and off the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne area on Tuesday.

However, heavy showers will linger over the North Island and upper South Island, even after the front has passed to the east.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: