Weather: Heavy rain and thunderstorm warnings issued for Gisborne, Hawke's Bay; Westland alerts lifted

A state of emergency remains in place in the Westland District after heavy rain on Friday and overnight.

But MetService severe weather warnings for the region were lifted on Saturday morning with conditions expected to ease throughout the day.

"There has been heavy rain overnight and it's just in the easing phase now," MetService duty forecaster Heath Gullery told RNZ. "So, looking at the radar, most of the heavy rain is up in the ranges and that's set to ease in the next few hours. 

"Rivers and streams will still be running high for most of the morning so just be aware if you're out and about and be careful."

Showers and possible thunderstorms could develop in the region on Saturday morning, MetService said. By midday, those showers should become isolated and clear later in the afternoon.  

Attention now turned to the North Island's East Coast, where heavy rain and thunderstorm warnings were in place for Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

"Computer models have the sub-tropical low passing over the northeast of the North Island [on Monday], while a trough moves onto southern New Zealand from the southwest," MetService's severe weather outlook said.

"There is moderate confidence that rainfall amounts will reach warning criteria about Bay of Plenty and Gisborne/Tairāwhiti, plus the Westland and Grey Districts, and low confidence warnable amounts of rain will fall about Coromandel Peninsula and Hawke's Bay.

"Also, there is low confidence that east to southeast winds will reach severe gale about exposed parts of Gisborne/Tairāwhiti and the Wairoa District."

A severe thunderstorm watch for Hawke's Bay was valid from 3pm until at least 11pm on Saturday, while the heavy rain warning for Gisborne commenced at 6pm on Sunday through to at least 9am on Monday.