Most of the country is in for a cloudy, windy day, but sports fans rejoice - skies should stay dry in Hamilton and Wellington for the rugby league and football matches tonight.

MetService meteorologist Ravi Kandula said many Kiwis, especially those who live in the south, would have woken up to a nippy morning.

However, the main centres will all have highs in the mid-teens today.

"There's a low just northeast of Northland, moving slowly east, bringing scattered rain to the upper North Island," he said.

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Rain had been forecast for Auckland and although it's been overcast this morning, there are yet to be significant falls.

"It's mostly stayed through the gulf and Coromandel peninsula and that's mostly going to stay the same as this low pulls away to the east," Kandula said.

"Once that low pulls away we're going to start to see some fine spells through Auckland, which is fairly overcast at the moment but it's mostly mid-high cloud that's going to start to break up this afternoon."

Hamilton will get a light shower or two, but once that's cleared it should be mainly fine this evening, which will be good news for those going to the Kiwis v Tonga Rugby League World Cup game.

Weather Watch said sunny spells were possible in the upper North Island as a southeast wind flow moved in.

However, the low would still be significant for boaties, Weather Watch said in a statement.

MetService has issued severe weather warnings for the east coast of the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne.

"We're expecting persistent rain until about 6am tomorrow through Gisborne and the ranges of the eastern Bay of Plenty," Kandula said.

A strong wind warning is also in place there until early tomorrow, with southeast gales expected in exposed areas.

The winds should die down by tomorrow afternoon or evening and light winds would persist from then until Friday, Kandula said.

A bit of light cloud would develop in Wellington this afternoon. However, it should be dry this evening ahead of the All Whites clash with Peru.

In Christchurch, mid-high cloud was forecast this morning.

"They might possibly see this sort of cloud through most of the evening, but should stay mostly dry today, if not entirely dry," Kandula said.

Tomorrow a ridge with quite a bit of moisture trapped under it would move on to the country, bringing a quite lot of cloud on Sunday, Monday and possibly Tuesday.

"It's an easing trend, but moisture [will be] hanging around for much of the start of the week."

Weather Watch said that although the working week ahead will be dominated by high pressure, another sub-tropical low could move through the north of the country next weekend.

Today's forecast
Whangarei: Mostly cloudy, showers developing morning, clearing from evening. Gusty southeasterlies, high of 16C
Auckland: Mostly cloudy, isolated showers, clearing this evening. Southerlies, strong in exposed places, 16C high
Hamilton: Cloudy periods, chance afternoon rain. Gusty southerlies, easing evening. High of 16C
Wellington: Cloud increasing, chance evening shower about south coast. Southeasterlies. 15C high
Christchurch: Party cloudy with the odd morning shower, then becoming overcast evening. Light winds and high of 15C
Dunedin: Partly cloudy, and chance morning shower. Southwesterlies, high of 15C
(Source: Metservice)