The North Island can expect a wet start to New Year's Eve but a sunny afternoon, as most of the country continues to see warm but damp weather.

And the current pattern of warm temperatures looks set to continue for the next few days at least.

According to WeatherWatch, a northwesterly airflow will bring rain to the West Coast of the South Island and dry weather with high cloud to the east on New Year's Eve.

MetService, meanwhile, is predicting cloud and possible rain on New Year's Day from southwestern parts of the North Island down the South Island's West Coast. However it forecasts dry, warm conditions over northern parts of the North Island and in eastern areas from Gisborne to Southland.


MetService meteorologist John Law said with more than four days till January 1, there was still some uncertainty around the timing of approaching weather patterns.

"So if you're planning outdoor activities for around that time, it will be important to keep up-to-date with the latest MetService forecasts and any watches or warnings.''

But he tipped warm weather to continue for many parts of the country in coming days.

WeatherWatch regional forecast for New Year's Eve:

* Northland, Auckland, Waikato, the central North Island and Bay of Plenty can expect a few brief morning showers but a mostly sunny day.

Highs: 23-26.

* Nelson and Wellington are forecast to have sunny areas and increasing cloud with northwesterly winds pick up during the day gusting to gale force from afternoon about Wellington. A few spots of rain are possible overnight.

Highs: 20-23.

* Canterbury and Marlborough can expect sunny weather with thickening high cloud. Northwesterlies pick up from morning and become strong at times from evening. A few spots of rain are possible at night.

Highs: 23-25.

* Southland and Otago are forecast to have a dry New Year's Eve with thick high cloud and breezy west to northwest winds. Overnight winds may bring showers.

Highs: 20-23.