In the latest episode of what's been a summer of extremes, it appears summer is back.

Most of the country is in for a weekend of sunshine and scorching temperatures - but the good weather probably won't stick around.

MetService meteorologist Ravi Kandula said the forecast was fine for the North Island over the weekend, when sunshine is expected for much of today.

The only significant rain will be in Fiordland and Westland, Kandula said, but the rest of the country will be "pretty good".

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Temperatures would hover around the mid 20s for most of the island, peaking in the high 20s.

The South Island could expect some cooler temperatures but the difference was "nothing too drastic", Kandula said.

The weather looked set to take a turn for the worse early next week, when showers become heavy and temperatures drop to the low 20s.

A drop in temperatures would be more dramatic down the country, where temperatures drop as low as 17C in Wellington and Christchurch.

MetService said the impact Cyclone Gita would have on New Zealand was too far ahead to accurately forecast.

"Things are uncertain again with regards to the approach of that ex-tropical cyclone. It really depends on how that system tracks over the next few days," Kandula said.

MetService's severe weather outlook suggests a broad area of the country can expect to see the effects of Gita, but Kandula said that will become clearer over the coming days.


The tropical cyclone swept over Fiji on Tuesday, destroying a handful of buildings but leaving no reported injuries or fatalities in its wake.

Earlier this week the storm battered Tonga, where residents weren't as lucky.

Unconfirmed reports said one person had died and several others were injured when winds of up to 195km/h hit the small island nation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand's Air Force Hercules has been approved to fly to Tonga to help with relief efforts.

A string of major weather events have made for a wet start to the year. Niwa reports total rainfall for the country so far is more than double normal amounts in some places.

Greymouth took the lead with its total rainfall in 2018 so far sitting at 451mm.

This was followed closely by Hamilton on 418mm, which is 216 per cent more than for the same period last year.

Statistics around Auckland's rainfall over the start of the year showed the region had been drenched with more than one-third of the normal annual rainfall, just two weeks into February.

The upper North Island was expected to get another dousing of rain over the start of March.