Last night was the coldest of the year for most parts of the country. Early risers were met with frost, fog and icy windscreens as temperatures plummeted below freezing.

Mt Cook was the coldest with -13C and Turangi in the North Island got down to -6.4C, a record low since July 2012.

Auckland was the coldest it has been since July 2015 with temperatures plummeting to 1.4C.

The coldest night ever in Auckland was -1.2C in June 1994.

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Whangarei reached 2C, Tauranga got down to 0C, Wellington reached 3C, Christchurch was -4C with "freezing fog" and Dunedin was -2C.

Balmy Gisborne was the warmest place to be last night with an overnight low of 5C.

MetService meteorologist Ravi Kandula said frost blanketed almost the entire country last night.

"It was across the board except for parts of the Wairarapa and Gisborne."

A sunny Sunday will greet Aucklanders with a high of 12C and light southerly winds. The city will get a break from recent rain with a mostly dry week.

The chilly morning will be followed by a fine day with sunshine for most of the country except the southern South Island which will see some cloud.

Tonight is forecast to be bitterly cold again with widespread frost.

Severe southerly gales for the Chatham Islands gusting up to 110km/h were expected to ease today.

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Kandula said the frost starts to melt once the sun rises, which is now around 7.30am.

A sunny weekend will be followed with showers for most of the country during the week. The South Island will see wet weather from Monday through to Wednesday with the North Island copping an extra day of showers on Thursday.

Fiordland and southern Westland would see a particularly wet Monday with rainfall likely to reach warning criteria.

But it was looking like it would clear up by next weekend, Kandula said.

​How to remove ice from your windscreen

Pour cold water on it to slowly melt the ice. Don't use hot water as this can cause the glass to crack.
Start the car and use the heater to warm the windscreen.
Use a plastic ice scraper and soft plastic brush to clear the ice. Don't use a metal scraper as this can damage the glass.