Severe weather warnings for North Island as thunderstorms, heavy rain hit hard

New Zealanders are being warned to keep up to date with weather warnings as storms and heavy rain pelt the North Island.

Metservice has issued warnings and watches for the majority of the North Island as a low pressure front makes its way south. 

"It's going to kick off this afternoon, so things will start to get a bit more intense," Metservice meteorologist Lewis Ferris told Newshub on Monday morning. 

Wind warnings are in place for Auckland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel. 

There are also heavy rain watches for Northland, with some areas forecast for 80 to 130 millimetres of rain. 

The areas expected to be most affected by the downpours are Coromandel Peninsula, Northland and northern Gisborne. 

Gisborne from Tokomaru Bay northwards can expect 110 to 130 millimetres of rain between 4am on Tuesday and 6am on Wednesday.

Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be dangerous.

"There will be some very intense downpours and thunderstorms," said Ferris.

"Because this system is coming from the north, it contains more moisture and potential for heavy rain than your average low-pressure system," said meteorologist Stephen Glassey in a statement. 

Both meteorologists recommend staying up to date with the most recent warnings for their regions, available on the Metservice website.

But it won't last forever - the weather will start to clear after a couple of days.

"On Wednesday things start to get a little bit better" said Ferris.