An incoming low is expected to hit much of the country, bringing rain, wind and low temperatures.

The front was expected to move over the country from late Friday, bringing rain to western and northern areas and southerlies, causing temperatures to drop, said WeatherWatch.co.nz.

"It seems, after a bit of a break, fronts and lows are back in the picture and this weekend it's yet another in the series but perhaps with a bit of a bite," said weather analyst Richard Green.

The front was likely to be short-lived, he said.

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The weekend low comes ahead of a week of likely unsettled weather, including rain in parts of the North Island.

Drier conditions were expected in much of the South Island next week, with long spells of fine, or at least dry, weather and cool nights through to about Friday, said MetService.