Weather: Northland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne in for storms, heavy downpours on Wednesday

Much-needed rain may be on the horizon for drought-stricken regions, with heavy downpours and potential thunderstorms set to break February's dry spell.

Showers could become heavy with thunderstorms in isolated spots from Northland down to Waikato and Bay of Plenty on Wednesday afternoon, WeatherWatch says.

"For drought areas February was especially sunny, dry and hot. March may be slightly different with more cloud, higher humidity and a better chance for showers," WeatherWatch said in a statement.

"We do see better chances for showers, some slow moving and heavy, which could start to make a bit of difference locally.

"We expect over the next 15 days to have some pockets of relief. Not everyone will get what they need... but it's still a step in the right direction."

Thunderstorms are forecasted for Kerikeri and Whangarei, while Kaitaia can expect a spate of showers on Wednesday morning. There is also a moderate risk of heavy downpours and thunderstorms for Northland's southeastern areas.

The east coast of the North Island and central regions may also get some respite from the sun.

"There is a moderate risk of thunderstorms from early afternoon about Taupo and northern Hawke's Bay, spreading to Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, western Waikato and Coromandel Peninsula," MetService reports.

"There is also a low risk of severe thunderstorms in this area, likely to be accompanied by heavy rain... possibly reaching 25 to 40 mm per hour in localised downpours."

As of 8am, there are currently no severe weather warnings in place nationwide.

The Government has declared drought conditions in Waikato and South Auckland, unlocking $80,000 of government funding for the Rural Support Trust to support affected farmers and growers. A similar declaration was made in Northland in February.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor reiterated that rural communities need assistance and support as they struggle against the lack of substantial rainfall.

"Farmers in Waikato are no strangers to dry summers and they have had good grass silage on hand to date but the longer they go without rain, the harder it becomes to carry on as usual," he said.

"I'm continuing to keep a close eye on conditions in Northland as well as many other parts of the country, in case more help is required. The Government is committed to doing all we can to support farmers and growers at what is a very challenging time."