It could be time to unfurl the brolly and dig out the raincoat from the back of the wardrobe as rain looks set to hit much of the country this weekend.

The weather across New Zealand is sluggish at best as high pressure swamps both islands and helps stall lows to the north east and south west of the country. These two lows are weakening and by next week may bring in more showers to some areas – but it’s not the silver bullet to break the big dry forming in parts of the North Island. Winds are mostly light – which means you can expect more fog and cloud patches in the morning.

The "big fat high'' which has kept the country mostly fine and dry this week would begin to drift away over the coming days, "opening the door" for more unpleasant weather systems to move in, the MetService said today.

Cloud and rain are expected in a number of places over the weekend.

"Instead of a new weather system just rolling in from the west, there will be a pincher effect with one low approaching from the east of the North Island, and a front moving over the southern half of the South Island this weekend," meteorologist Dan Corbett said.

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"A prevailing southeast wind flow across the North Island, from the low to the east, will bring wet weather to eastern areas such as Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, but little or no rain further west. Far western regions, such as Waikato to Taumaranui, are expected to miss out entirely this weekend."

The front in the south of the country is likely to bring rain from Fiordland up to Canterbury, while rain clouds will also be drawing closer to Wellington for the royal visit beginning on Monday, with thickening cloud and perhaps some drizzle.

"Don't forget to set you clocks back one hour on Saturday night for the end of daylight savings time," Mr Corbett also reminded people.