Settled weather on its way - but it won't last

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Bad weather washed out New Year in many holiday spots, including Russell in the Bay of Islands
Bad weather washed out New Year in many holiday spots, including Russell in the Bay of Islands

The poor weather conditions that forced the cancellations of more than 35 flights around the country today will ease over the next few days, but the let up won't last long.

Air New Zealand spokesperson Anna Cross said the weather affected services at Queenstown, Wellington, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Blenheim airports.

"Air New Zealand continues to monitor conditions and advises customers to consult the arrivals and departures page of our website for the latest information."

Heavy rain and high winds over the past few days have also disrupted the plans of hundreds of holidaymakers, forcing people to pack up their tents and go home early and caused campsites to miss out on hundreds of new year's bookings.

Rain was forecast to ease during the next few days - but the calm won't last long.
Following several days of settled weather, thanks to a ridge of high pressure building from the west, an area of low pressure is expected to reach the country on Thursday, bringing further rain across the country by the end of the week.

The weekend has been a washout for many holiday destinations as an area of low pressure brought wet weather from the tropics.

Whitianga recorded 65mm of rain in the 24 hours to midday Saturday.

"The rain brought some reprieve to parched farmland in the north yesterday, and the top of the South Island and the east of the North Island are getting a good soaking today," meteorologist Emma Blades said.

The rain was forecast to gradually ease in most places tonight.

The South Island clears tomorrow afternoon, but showers hang on in the north and east of the North Island, before clearing everywhere but Northland on Wednesday.
Ms Blades said temperatures would be "a little cooler tomorrow" as a southerly change gradually moved up the country.

"Make the most of the sunshine though, as an area of low pressure is forecast to approach the South Island on Thursday, bringing rain and strong northerlies to the west, before crossing the country on Friday."

The week ahead
Tomorrow: Becoming fine or clearing in most areas from this morning. Fine in Otago, Southland and Fiordland.
Tuesday: Fine and cloudy periods in the North Island, with a few showers in the north but clearing in the east. Fine spells in the South Island with a few showers in the south and east.
Wednesday: Fine spells in the North Island with a few showers in the far north. Fine and cloudy periods in the South Island with a few showers about the south coast. Isolated afternoon showers in the east.
Thursday: Cloud increasing in the North Island, with showers in the far north and about the Taranaki. Cloud increasing with showers in the far north and about the Taranaki. Cloud increasing in the South Island with rain or showers in the west and developing in the south later.
Friday: Unsettled with rain or showers for much of the country with some heavy falls in the west of both islands.

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