As wet weather plagues much of the country there's a slightly drier forecast in store for Hawke's Bay.

MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said it was expected Sunday's cloudy skies would continue over the region for the tail end of the long weekend.

"The forecast is showing pretty persistent rain in the afternoon and evening on Monday. At the moment it looks like it's mainly in Napier and northwards but we're not discounting anything further south as there's a bit of uncertainty."

Heavy rain watches had been put in place for many parts of the country, including eastern Bay of Plenty, as a low-pressure tracks towards the North Island bringing rainfall to the northern half of the Island.

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Mr Lee said any rain would be accompanied by strong northwesterlies that would sweep into exposed places during the afternoon.

"At this moment in time we're putting in scattered rain in the Hawke's Bay region for today which will basically develop into the morning and become widespread and persistent for a time in the afternoon.

The band of rain was expected to clear and the northwesterlies to die down relatively early on Tuesday morning as the weather feature moved off.

"We do expect a southwest change to come up the coast on Tuesday which will probably bring some isolated showers with it.

"At the moment the forecast is a few showers but looking at the models I'm not too convinced it's going to be a very wet southwest change, but definitely some showers will be triggered along the coastline for Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday would also bring early coastal showers before clearing to a fine day, he said.

"Wednesday doesn't look too bad. We've got northwesterlies developing and again on Thursday we're expecting mainly fine spells with brief showers developing with another southwest change on Thursday."

While it was still early days in the forecast, Mr Lee said Friday would be dry with partly cloudy conditions.

Temperatures were expected to remain fairly warm, lapsing when southwesterlies kicked in, throughout the entire week.

Today's temperatures was forecast to reach a high of 18C before bumping up to 21C for Tuesday and Wednesday and then reaching a weekly high of 23C on Thursday.

"Temperature wise it's not looking too bad. During Monday's rainfall it does look like the maximum temperature drops off a bit but generally it should be okay," Mr Lee said.

The slow-moving front was expected to bring substantial rainfall to the upper north island throughout today, with the heaviest falls likely in the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty during the afternoon and evening.

Due to the nature of the low pressure system MetService weather models were showing uncertainty and it was recommended that the public visit www.metservice.com for the latest forecasts.