Weather: Thunderstorms, lightning, avalanche risk for New Zealand

Thunderstorm, avalanche and lightning warnings are being issued as heavy rain and strong winds lash New Zealand.

Fresh from hammering the South Island, a strong front is moving up the North Island, with numerous severe weather warnings and watches in place for its path.

"Wind gusts may exceed 80km/h, while coastal locations and higher elevations may reach 100km/h," NIWA warns.

After a "thundery band" beat down Wellington earlier in the day, it's now currently moving across Auckland, bringing some "very heavy" localised falls, MetService says. And the upper North Island is next in line.

"Heads up Dargaville area. A thunderstorm poised to impact west coast of central Northland," NIWA tweeted.

"Heavy rain, strong winds, and of course lightning all possible, if not likely. When thunder roars, head indoors."

A map of recent cloud-to-ground lightning shows the west coast being pummeled with strikes.

While the rain is now easing in the South Island, heavy snow is increasing the avalanche risk. WeatherWatch warns up to 1.5 metres of snow is possible higher up in the Southern Alps over the next few days.

"This, on top of the generally warmer the average weather, will increase the avalanche risk in the Southern Alps," it says.