A sizeable sub-tropical low moving in on the country may be the beginning of the end of the drought for most areas.
Predictive rain maps at WeatherWatch.co.nz show widespread heavy rain moving in on the North Island, and Hawke's Bay is expected to receive some of the downpour in the middle of the week.
MetService forecaster Sarah Garlick said Hawke's Bay could expect most of the heavier showers tomorrow and Wednesday but it was hard to tell how much because the low was still too far away.
"The region can expect some rain, still not a huge amount, but any rain is good rain at the moment," she said.
While WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters remain somewhat conservative with their predictions, advising some farmers they may not all get the rainfall totals they need, the weather news authority is confident that all drought regions will receive some rain from the low.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan said the rain should intensify as the week progressed, as the low blanketed the country.
"We expect showers and patchy rain to become more widespread overnight Monday and into Tuesday with gusty winds as the centre of the sub-tropical low moves in."
He said the rain would ease to sporadic showers by the end of the week but farmers could expect at least two days of decent rain in all the drought regions.
Strong winds may be enough to break boats from their moorings in some regions but widespread wind damage isn't expected.