The 34-day dry spell plaguing the Bay of Plenty may finally let up, with rain expected to fall today, leading into a wet weekend.
MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said parts of Tauranga could expect isolated showers in the next couple of days, and the whole country would likely receive a decent amount of rainfall this weekend.
Although it was not expected to be particularly heavy rain, people could expect wet, showery conditions, he said.
This would be the first rainfall recorded in Tauranga for the whole of February and the first significant amount since January 16.
There were only four other days in January where the city saw any rainfall, but three of those days saw only small amounts.
According to Niwa's climate summary for January, Tauranga was the sunniest, driest and warmest city out of the six main centres around the country. The city reached a maximum temperature of 31.6C on February 13.
The Generation Homes women's triathlon is sold-out and set to take place this Sunday, whatever the weather.
Events and development manager Paul Miller said a cyclone would have to hit for the event to get cancelled.
Tauranga City Council imposed a full sprinkler ban at the end of January and the Western Bay District Council urged residents to conserve water.
A Tauranga City Council spokeswoman said high rainfall could cause further problems during water restrictions by making the water dirty and more difficult to treat to meet demand.
But the rain also watered gardens, thereby temporarily reducing water usage.
"To be able to lift restrictions, we need to see water use go down, as well as consistent rain in the forecast to be sure that the dry period is firmly behind us."
Water restrictions are put in place when water usage nears the maximum amount of water the council is able to treat in a day.
A total fire ban is also in place across the Bay of Plenty.
Deputy principal rural fire officer Steve Webb said the amount of rain this weekend meant the ban could be reassessed.
They should have a good grasp on whether or not conditions will permit the ban to be lifted by Monday, he said.
Farmers across the region were happy with any rain they could get, Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty president Darryl Jensen said.
However, a gentle rain would be best as soils were rock hard and heavy rain may do more harm than good.
Western Bay District Council utilities manager Kelvin Hill said the council closely monitored flooding hot spots when heavy rain conditions were looming.
The council teams would be clearing drains and making sure outlets were clear, he said.
In Te Puke, handrails have been removed from the Ohineangaanga Stream walkway to deter pedestrians as water levels rose very quickly.
Hill advised people to check their own downpipes and guttering for blockages.
Today: Cloudy with showers expected, high of 26 C.
Tomorrow: Cloud increasing with chance shower then rain towards evening, high of 25 C.
Saturday: Rain, possibly heavy, easing later, high of 25 C.
Sunday: Periods of rain, high of 21 C.