It'll pay to keep the umbrella handy today as nearly everywhere across New Zealand is in for a dank, wet day.

Weather watches are in force for heavy rain across parts of the central North Island, and for the second consecutive day, tennis at the ASB classic is likely to be affected by showers that are forecasted to fall in Auckland throughout the day.

The only region that appears to get close to fine weather is the Far North.

"Unfortunately it's not looking great for a lot of New Zealand, " said MetService forecaster Kyle Lee.

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A low pressure sweeping across the country from the Tasman Sea was bringing large amounts of rain to western regions of the North Island.

A heavy rain watch had been issued for the Wanganui headwaters, central North Island high country and Mt Taranaki.

Wellington was also in for a soaking but as the front moved across conditions were expected to improve later in the day.

Showers were forecast across Auckland this morning, clearing for a spell in the afternoon before returning later this evening.

The rain would sweep across the island through the day. The East Coast, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa could expect strong gusty winds this afternoon but at this stage no warnings were in force, he said.

The South Island was not looking flash either with rain on the West Coast and a lot of cloud of the east.

Lee said the rain on the West Coast was expected to ease towards the evening and improve overnight.

A southerly change would start to sweep up the island from the deep south later today and temperatures will dropping.

Today's forecast

Auckland

: Cloudy with a few morning/evening showers. 25

Hamilton: Occasional rain. 23

Wellington: Rain clearing in afternoon. 18

Christchurch:Light rain, showers, southerly change. 21

Dunedin: Rain, showers, south westerly change. 17