Unusual weather conditions mean a tale of two seasons for the North Island today.

Gale force southerlies have been blasting Taranaki and the temperature in Wellington is only 12 degrees with a southerly gale gusting to 120km/h on the hilltops.

Heavy rain closed the Desert Road for a time overnight and temperatures this morning have been as low a 10 degrees in Waiouru.

Further north it was a sticky night with the mercury hardly below 20 degrees. There will be similar conditions in Auckland tonight.

Weatherwatch analyst Philip Duncan said it remained cold along the South Island's east coast this morning with many places between 10 and 13 degrees.

On the West Coast an easterly wind delivered the opposite effect of the nor'wester. Temperatures reached the mid 20s yesterday from Milford Sound to Murchison and today is expected to be similar.

Mr Duncan said the conditions would last for at least another day.