Monique Ford / Staff
Rains are expected across the country on Sunday. [File photo]
MetService released a torrential rain watch for Bay of Plenty during the early hours of Sunday.
The National Weather Service expects local torrential rains, east of Rotorua, between 3am and 11am.
MetService said precipitation amounts could close to warning standards, and an update will be released at 9 am on Sunday.
Residents are encouraged to watch the weather forecast in case the watch is upgraded to a warning.
* Weather: Good start to 2021 in North Island, but showers, rain and possibly thunderstorms in the south
* Heavy storms may bring twice the amount of rain that falls in summer in just two days
* The cold front is moving up in the country, with showers on Saturday
The rain is associated with slow motion of low pressure, MetService said.
Rain is expected in most parts of New Zealand on Sunday, except for Nelson, which is expected to be fine.
In Northland, MetService expects sporadic showers that will become more widespread and possibly heavy in the afternoon and evening.
In the west from Auckland to Wellington, in Wairarapa, wonderful long periods are to be expected, with sporadic showers north of Taranaki on a Saturday night.
Coromandel, Plenty Bay, Toubou, Taihab, Gisborne and Hawk Bay will see sporadic showers – especially afternoons and evenings around the ranges – some heavy and possibly thunderstorms with hail.
Buller and Westland will see cloudy periods, with more rain on Sunday afternoon.
Scattered showers, especially around the ranges, are expected in Marlborough, Canterbury, and North and Central Otago on Saturday night, but the weather will be fine on Sunday.
However, afternoon showers are possible in North Otago.
Fiordland, Southland, Dunedin and Klotha will experience cloudy periods with a few showers around Fiordland and the South Coast on Saturday night, before spreading elsewhere on Sunday afternoon and evening.
MetService said the weather will be fine in the Chatham Islands, except for a few showers on Sunday.