A large storm began blasting the South Island and lower North Island last night but the recent settled and sunny autumn weather will soon be back.
Several weather warnings were issued by MetService yesterday, including a heavy rain warning for much of the West Coast, and a warning of gales up to 130 km/h in Wairarapa, Wellington, Marlborough and Canterbury.
The MetService said a moist northwest flow ahead of the front should bring heavy rain to the west of the South Island and strong winds to the east of the island and the south of the North Island up until early this morning.
The wild weather can be blamed on a large storm which stretches from Antarctica right up over the South Island, said WeatherWatch forecaster Philip Duncan.
"It's a huge storm, stretching up from Antarctica and reaching New Zealand ... but it's just swiping us, not directly hitting us."
Mr Duncan warned the predicted wind speeds were high enough to uproot trees, break branches, lift roofing iron and make driving extremely difficult.
"Because April was so good - so mild, so dry and so sunny, I think any sort of weather event is going to be a shock to the system.
"This system for most of the centres isn't going to be actually that severe but it's going to be enough to knock some temperatures back a little bit," he said.
However, another high is set to move in on Wednesday, bringing with it sunny days and clear skies which Mr Duncan said should remain until the end of next weekend. "We'll be back to forecasting sunny weather."