Gusts of 130km/h have ripped through Foveaux Strait today and severe weather watches remain in place in parts of the South Island.

A strong southwest flow through the lower South Island, caused by a high moving in through the Tasman Sea, had caused windy and rainy weather throughout the country, said MetService meteorologist Peter Little.

Severe weather watches were in place for Otago and Southland.

"The worst of [the weather] is in that southern area in terms of the wind, and over the remainder of the country it's still quite showery, particularly in northern places like Auckland."

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However, the next few days should give people a break from the rain.

"What we see through tomorrow is a ridge building through the Tasman Sea so those southwesterlies ease and we also see showers becoming few and far between for most places," Mr Little said.

"There's certainly an improving trend to begin the week."

Weather Watch predicts a "typical" shift into winter around the country, with a mixture of the kind of weather expected for this time of year.

"We have a mixture of weather coming for the rest of May - not too hot, not too cold - perhaps in the middle somewhere.

Or put another way - typical weather for mid-Autumn in New Zealand," said Weather Watch's Philip Duncan.

Lows coming up from Antarctica would be responsible for temperature drops, along with cold fronts which will spread further north, but a milder end to the month was predicted.

"[There was] potential for some lower level severe weather warnings over the next two weeks - but generally speaking the weather ahead for the rest of May doesn't look as severe as the weather was in the first half of the month."

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Weather Watch predicts a "typical" shift into winter around the country, with a mixture of the kind of weather expected for this time of year.

"We have a mixture of weather coming for the rest of May - not too hot, not too cold - perhaps in the middle somewhere.Or put another way - typical weather for mid-Autumn in New Zealand," said Weather Watch's Philip Duncan.

Lows coming up from Antarctica would be responsible for temperature drops, along with cold fronts which will spread further north, but a milder end to the month was predicted.

"[There was] potential for some lower level severe weather warnings over the next two weeks - but generally speaking the weather ahead for the rest of May doesn't look as severe as the weather was in the first half of the month."