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Heavy rain, gale force winds forecast for much of country

Heavy rain warnings are in place for much of the country today, with the possibility of rapidly rising streams and rivers, surface flooding and slips and hazardous driving conditions.

A person standing in a storm underneath an umbrella. Source: istock.com

MetService last night issued warnings for Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, as well as further south around Nelson and Westland with significant downpours forecast.

Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty were all forecast to get 50mm to 80 mm of rain overnight to today.

Meanwhile, those in Nelson and Westland should expect a bit more of a dousing with 110mm to 150mm and 120mm to 150mm of rain respectively overnight to today.

"A front over the Tasman Sea is forecast to move across New Zealand on Monday, preceded by a strong and moist north to northeasterly flow, then followed by unsettled northwesterlies," the weather agency said.

"The front is expected to bring a period of heavy rain to western and northern parts of New Zealand, including areas of Buller, Nelson and Marlborough recently affected by flooding"

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Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has this 6am forecast for New Zealand. Source: Breakfast

MetService also has a strong wind warning in place for Auckland and Fiordland, with gusty north to nor-easterlies.

Northeast winds are forecast to rise to gale in exposed places, with gusts reaching lower warning threshold of 90 to 100 km/h in Auckland, especially in eastern areas.

In Fiordland, severe gale north to northeasterlies in exposed places, gusting up to 130 km/h are forecast.

There are wind and rain watches for much of the rest of the country too.

"People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case any changes are made, or further areas are added," Metservice said.