Temperatures will dip throughout the country this week as a cold front sweeps north, bringing rain and strong winds to many.

An area of low pressure is set to move up the South Island today and reach the North Island by Tuesday, MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said.

Westland was expected to be hammered with heavy rain through Monday and overnight - with a severe weather warning in place until Tuesday, stating the rain levels could cause rising rivers, surface flooding and slips.

But Mr Doolin said the rain should ease as the front progresses.

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"Really, the heavy rain is mostly isolated to the west of the South Island at present. It doesn't look like it's going to be particularly heavy once it's reached the North Island...there will be a bit of precipitation around but nothing severe."

Auckland could expect cloudy periods and showers on Monday and Tuesday, he said, with rain arriving in the evening, which should clear by Wednesday morning.

The front was expected to be short-lived and move off the country by Wednesday or Thursday, Mr Doolin said.

Temperatures would dip as southwesterly winds arrive following the front, with the North Island getting down to the mid teens and parts of the South Island dropping to 13C or 14C this week.

"Temperatures should drop a wee bit...but it doesn't look like they're going to drop a huge amount," Mr Doolin said.

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said the weekend's weather was fairly average for October with light showers around Auckland and Northland as well as winds in some areas.

A "motorway of gales" was expected to move through southern and central New Zealand at the start of the week, he said.

Northwest gales were possible around Southland, Otago, Canterbury, Wairarapa and parts of the Hawkes Bay today.

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Mr Duncan said the windiest areas would be in the eastern South Island and around Wellington, but damaging gusts were not expected.High pressure in the Tasman Sea stretching over the country would put a "lid" on strong winds in northern parts, he said.

Strong winds would ease by Wednesday but return to Southland, Otago and Canterbury on Friday.

Central and southern New Zealand would see blustery conditions at the weekend, with winds getting lighter further north, he said.

Temperatures were expected to be average throughout the week, Mr Duncan said.

Today's forecast:

Whangarei: Cloudy periods, with a chance of showers. High 19C.

Auckland: Cloudy periods, and the odd shower. High 18C.

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Hamilton: Morning drizzle, then fine. High 18C.

Tauranga: Fine apart from morning cloud. High 20C.

Wellington: Mainly fine, morning cloud. Strong winds. High 18C.

Christchurch: Fine, afternoon shower. Strong winds. High 23C.

Dunedin: Rain, becoming persistent. High 16C.

Source: MetService

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