Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Calm, fine weekend ahead for most of the country

A calm and fine autumnal weekend is in store for most of the country, forecasters say.

However, West Coasters could catch some rain and westerly winds, MetService said.

"The weather over the South Island has become drier and quieter, and on the whole the weekend looks much more settled for many parts of the country," meteorologist John Law said.

Clear, cold nights were on the cards for some spots, he said.

"Clear skies and light winds are great conditions for temperatures to quickly drop away once the sun sets."

The North Island could expect to wake up to colder temperatures on Saturday, especially on the Central Plateau and in Waikato and Wairarapa, he said.

About southern Westland and Fiordland, cloud and spells of rain were likely at times this weekend as westerly winds returned.

During Sunday a southerly change was expected to push an area of rain northwards into Southland and Otago, Mr Law said. analyst Philip Duncan said the temperatures were average to slightly above average for this time of year.

"The daytime highs in the north especially, around Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty, are around 18C and 19C."

The temperatures in New Zealand were far more settled than our neighbours across the Tasman, Mr Duncan said.

Hobart has just experienced its warmest late autumn day in more than a century.

The state's capital reached 23.9C yesterday afternoon, making it the warmest day at this time of year since records began in 1896, Mr Duncan said.

Last week Canberra had its coldest May temperature in 80 years, he said.


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