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Strong winds lift roofs off homes in Waikato as storm hammers North Island

Gale force winds have lifted roofs off two homes in Waikato's Te Awamutu after storms hammered parts of the upper North Island overnight.

Source: Supplied

Papakura was lucky to get away with a few broken tree branches and blocked drains after last night’s wild weather. Source: Supplied

Northern region fire communications shift manager Carren Larking said fire crews also attended several call-outs after trees went down in Putaruru, Hamilton and Te Awamutu.

About 20 house alarms went off in the wider Auckland region, as a result of winds, Ms Larking said.

"Our fingers are crossed that we don't have any major incidents, in light of the bad weather that's forecast over the next day or so."

Emergency services attended a couple of minor flooding incidents in several Auckland suburbs, including Grey Lynn and Papakura, NZME has reported.

A severe weather watch is in place for Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Christchurch, Dunedin, Clutha and Southland.

Northland is also bracing for severe gales and wild weather this weekend.

TVNZ weather man Dan Corbett has the latest weather forecast. Source: 1 NEWS

Civil Defence says high winds and waves are likely, with west coast harbours, especially Hokianga, in the firing line.

MetService has issued a strong-wind warning for Northland, forecasting a deep low that will bring severe west or southwest gales gusting up to 120 kmh in exposed places from this afternoon until early tomorrow.

MetService last night issued a severe weather warning with forecasts of heavy, thundery rain about the southwest of the North Island, especially Taranaki and the Tararua Range.

This was expected to ease this morning, but heavy rain was still a possibility in parts throughout the day.