A wintry blast will bring howling gales, towering seas, snow and torrential rain to the North Island today.
Temperatures plunged overnight in many eastern towns and cities, and Hawke's Bay and Gisborne are in for a tumultuous day.
Storm clouds are also starting to gather over the North Island volcanoes where snow is expected to fall this morning.
MetService has issued a heavy rain and strong wind watch for the eastern regions as a deep low sits off the coast.
Rain is expected to start falling around 6pm and last until midday tomorrow.
Southerly gales of more than 90 km/h are due to hit late this afternoon and a storm warning is in force.
MetService is also warning of hail-packed thunderstorms as squally showers move up the East Coast of the North Island today.
Five metre swells are expected to batter the coastline between Cape Kidnappers and East Cape.
Towering 5m swells are expected to pummel eastern regions over the next 24 hours. (Picture / MetService)