After a few sodden days there's just one day of fine weather to dry out before heavy rain starts falling again.

The MetService has issued a severe weather watch covering an huge swathe of central New Zealand ahead of the weekend's miserable forecast.

The heavy rain warning stretches from Bay of Plenty to Nelson and spans Saturday evening through to Monday morning.

But most of the country will have a fine end to the working week as a slim ridge of high pressure spreads across New Zealand.


Showers were today confined to the west of central North Island and the weather becomes mostly fine elsewhere.

But rain clouds are due to descend for a stormy and rain-soaked weekend.

MetService said northern and western New Zealand could expect heavy rain and thunderstorms. Scattered rain will spread to eastern regions later in the day.

And worse weather was forecast for Sunday when most of New Zealand will be under a blanket of rain.

MetService was warning heavy falls were possible, especially in central North Island regions, northwest Nelson, eastern Otago and South Canterbury.

And, depending on how the bad weather tracked across the country, ski fields about the Southern Lakes could even see snow on Sunday and Monday.

Large waves of 4-5m were expected to affect western beaches from Buller northwards on Sunday.

• Friday: 17 early showers then fine
Saturday: 18 thunderstorms, strong northerly
•Friday: 17 showers clearing, fine
•Friday: 16 morning showers, then fine
•Saturday: 15 rain in afternoon
•Friday: 15 morning cloud, then sunny
•Saturday: 12 rain at night
•Friday: 13 morning cloud, then sunny
•Saturday: 11 rain at night