Parts of the North Island could be in for rough weather this weekend, with possible thunderstorms this afternoon and heavy rain forecast for Sunday.

Yesterday, the South Island was battered by heavy rain, causing Westland to declare a local state of emergency.

Now, MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for inland parts of Hawke’s Bay, south of State Highway 5, and near the coast south of Hastings from 3pm until 11pm tonight.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said the areas could have localised downpours.

“And that would mean the possibility of intense downbursts of rain, and as we’ve seen in the past, those intense bursts of rain tend to bring impacts such as surface flooding, hazardous driving as well as slips,” she said.

Meanwhile, a low pressure system from the north is set to bring heavy rain to Tairāwhiti/Gisborne on Sunday.

“At this point, the most likely areas to get that heavy rain would be the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne area but we are just keeping an eye on the surrounding areas in case some of the rain makes it to the other side”.

Makgabutlane said locals should keep up to date with forecasts.