Heavy rain, thunderstorms forecast for central parts of country today

Possible thunderstorms and heavy rain can be expected today in central parts of the country as a series of fronts move in from the west.

Rain (file picture). Source:

MetService said there is a moderate risk of thunderstorms in Nelson, the Richmond Range, Marlborough Sounds, Taranaki and coastal Waitomo this morning and in the afternoon.

From the afternoon and into early evening, storms are also possible further inland around Whanganui, Manawatu, the Tararua District and southern parts of Hawke's Bay.

There's also a lower risk of storms around inland Canterbury, Buller, much of Marlborough and Horowhenua/Kapiti Coast in the late morning and afternoon, as well as in southern Waikato and Gisborne. 

Rainfall intensities during thunderstorms could be significant - between 10-25mm per hour - and in South Island areas that rain could become hail.

One Heavy Rain Watch is currently in place until 4pm in the Tararua Range.

For a full forecast for your area, see our weather page here.