The tramper missing in the lower North Island's Tararua Range is Darren Myers, of Karori in Wellington.

The police this morning confirmed that the 49-year-old was the missing man.

No sign of him has been found at huts where he might have stayed, although footprints were seen on Monday.

Police said the search would continue today but in a limited capacity because of bad weather. Aerial search using a helicopter and infrared technology would be conducted if weather allowed.

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Conditions would continue to be assessed throughout the day, and any opportunity to increase the search would be considered.

The MetService is forecasting a wet, windy, cold day for the Tararua Range.

Rain with possibly heavy falls is expected, with isolated showers this evening that would fall as snow above 900m. A northwesterly wind of possibly gale force in exposed places and at higher levels is expected to swing to a southerly probably of severe gale force this afternoon. With the southerly change the wind chill at higher altitudes is expected to drop to -11C.

Yesterday afternoon the search for Myers was scaled back because of worsening weather.

Myers had failed to arrive at Mt Holdsworth on Saturday. His partner had raised the alarm when he didn't return home.

About 50 people searched for him yesterday.

Myers was undertaking a Northern Crossing trip over the range from Levin to Masterton. He had a cellphone and his last contact was a text message to his partner on Thursday morning.

The police spokeswoman said today that searchers had, earlier this week, checked huts where Myers might have taken refuge from the weekend's bad weather. No sign of him was found at the huts.

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"One of 10 rescue teams had discovered a set of footprints on Monday in the general area that the tramper was thought to be."