Tickets to the movies or a chores list might be the best start to the school holidays as heavy rains and winds are forecast this weekend.

The MetService said the high pressure that has brought fine conditions this week would move away to the north - bringing wetter and windier weather to the country.

Metrologist John Law said those grim conditions would be seen in the South Island; with a number of severe weather warnings and watches issued late yesterday.

"During Sunday, the rain and stronger winds head north so it really is a weekend to keep an eye on the forecast.


"On the plus side, the temperatures are set to climb with some frost-free nights back on the cards."

Those in the North Island could bask in at least one more day's worth of sunny weather. Rain is not expected until tomorrow.

Auckland has a high of 15C and fine spells today. There are similar conditions in Kaitaia, Whangārei and Napier.

"One of the best places to be during the daytime on Saturday will be up in the Far North.

"Generally a dry-looking day heading up towards Northland and Auckland. The cloud will thicken up as we go through the daytime and we will start to find perhaps a few spots of drizzle.

"A cold start to the day, but we will find over the next few nights, those frosts are a thing of the past."

For those heading to the snow these school holidays, conditions aren't looking too good with heavy rain and gales expected at Whakapapa and Turoa for most of the week.

However the long-range forecast has things improving with clear skies expected from Thursday.

It's a similar story further south at the Remarkables and Coronet Peak as those in the South Island will get the brunt of the bad weather with a front - preceded by gale northwesterlies and heavy rain - forecast over the island this weekend.

Heavy rain warnings are in place in the Tararua Range, Westland ranges between Otira and the glaciers, Canterbury headwaters and south of Arthurs Pass and Westland south of the glaciers.

There is also one over the headwaters of the Otago lakes and rivers and Fiordland.

Meanwhile, a strong wind warning has been issued in the Canterbury high country region with gale north-westerlies expected to reach gusts of up to 140km/h.

Authorities are advising people in those areas to regularly check forecasts in case those warnings continue through to tomorrow.