Umbrellas and raincoats will be a necessity today - with a big drenching predicted for much of the country.

A deep low is predicted to bring widespread rain and heavy winds.

The MetService yesterday issued severe weather warnings for gales across central New Zealand and heavy rain to western parts of the country, including over Westland, Buller, Nelson and Marlborough.

The MetService's Paul Ngamanu said because of the low's cyclonic flow, exposed places in the lower North Island, including Wellington, will be hit by strong winds, while the South Island can expect severe weather as the low passes across the country.


The potentially wet and wild forecast continues a sluggish start to summer, with WeatherWatch yesterday releasing the findings of a survey which found 61 per cent of respondents rating the weather so far as "awful".

A quarter of respondents said the 2016-17 summer had been "pretty good", while 14 per cent were still to make up their mind.

Frustrations over the wet start to summer should ease tomorrow, with fine weather forecast for the North Island on Monday and Tuesday.

But enjoy the sunshine while you can, as a front bringing wind and rain is expected to arrive over the country by Friday.

Ngamanu said Auckland and upper North Island areas should be spared much of the rough conditions as the front weakens across the North Island.

However, areas of the South Island, including Dunedin can expect rain and strong winds.

Fine weather is forecast for the Upper North Island next weekend in news which should please Aucklanders wanting to relax in the sun during Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

"The weather is expected to change in a good way next weekend, and it's looking like a nice ridge right across the North Island," Ngamanu said.