Whānau around the country are spending their Christmas Day indoors while severe weather watches remain in place.
Thunderstorms are expected for parts of the lower north island.
But on the positive side, rain warnings have been lifted for those in Auckland, Waikato, Gisborne and north of Hastings.
Heavy rain watch
A low-pressure system is moving east across the North Island today bringing heavy rain to the south of Hastings, Wairarapa and parts of Marlborough, says the MetService.
For the south of Hastings, scattered showers are expected to continue this afternoon and evening with possible isolated thunderstorms.
Periods of heavy rain are expected to hit the hills and ranges in the Wairarapa and the Marlborough Sounds and Kaikoura Coast can expect rain, with some heavy falls until 6pm.
There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms bringing downpours in areas including the south of Taumarunui and Taupo through to Taihape, Whanganui, Manawatu and the Wairarapa, says the MetService.
“The risk is also moderate for the ranges of the Horowhenua Kapiti Coast and Hawkes Bay, says the service.
“Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.”
Drivers are being warned to take care on the road with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain.
Severe thunderstorms on Christmas Day. Source: MetService
Rain warnings lifted – Auckland, Waikato and north of Hastings
People travelling between Auckland and Waikato have been welcomed with clear weather for their journey today.
Rain warnings have lifted for the two regions, as well as Great Barrier Island, north of Hastings and Gisborne, south of Tolaga Bay.
Father Tamati Tiananga drove from Auckland to Huntly today with his partner and baby to have Christmas lunch with his whānau.
He says he was surprised that the weather had cleared and traffic wasn't as heavy as he'd expected.
“We felt safe given this time of the year, with a lot of accidents happening,” he says.
However, MetService warns that scattered showers could continue today, bringing possibly heavy rain this afternoon and early evening.