Heavy rain is being forecast for the North Island. File photo.
A severe weather watch is in effect for several places in New Zealand.
The MetService is forecasting periods of heavy rain for the North Island, including the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, King Country, Whanganui, Manawatu, Taihape, Wairarapa and Tararua.
A large trough lies over the country and is moving slowly eastwards.
"Within this trough, a low is expected to cross over the North Island during Thursday. There is some uncertainty about the likely track of the low," says the weather organisation.
"These features are forecast to bring periods of heavy rain to parts of the North Island, with thunderstorms also possible, particularly about the King Country and Taranaki.
"For the hill-country of Whanganui, northern Manawatu, eastern Taihape, eastern Tararua District and eastern Wairarapa the rainfall amounts will depend greatly on the track of the low.
"People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case further areas are added."
Heavy Rain Watch
Area: Bay of Plenty east of Opotiki and Gisborne north of Ruatoria
Valid: 12 hours from 1am to 1pm Thursday
Forecast: Periods of heavy rain are expected during Thursday morning. Rainfall accumulations may approach warning criteria.
Area: Taranaki and the King Country, including Tongariro National Park
Valid: 24 hours from 1pm Wednesday to 1pm Thursday
Forecast: Heavy rain and possible thunderstorms are expected at times, especially this afternoon and during Thursday morning. During these times, rainfall accumulations could approach warning criteria.
Area: Hill-country of Whanganui, northern Manawatu and eastern Taihape
Valid: 12 hours from 4am to 4pm Thursday
Forecast: Periods of heavy rain are possible during Thursday and rainfall accumulations may approach warning criteria.
Area: Eastern hill-country of Wairarapa and Tararua District
Valid: 12 hours from 6am to 6pm Thursday
Forecast: There is the chance of a short period of heavy rain during Thursday. If the heavy rain occurs, it may approach warning criteria.