After former Cyclone Donna caused torrential downpours and strong southerlies yesterday, North Island residents will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning.

Gisborne and eastern Bay of Plenty were among the worst hit areas yesterday, with up to 40mm of rain in an hour forecast for the Gisborne ranges last night.

A deep low, former Cyclone Donna, brought severe southerly gales gusting to 120km/h in the Bay of Plenty, east of Whakatane, last night until the early hours of this morning.

A large tree fell on State Highway 35 near Opotiki last night. It was still blocking the road this morning and was not expected to be cleared until late morning.


Metservice meteorologist Lisa Murray said the worst of the weather should have eased overnight, as Donna pulls away.

"Although places like Gisborne and the northern part of Hawke's Bay will get some rain for a time first thing in the morning, it does pull away quite quickly with the odd shower left there.

"But those southerly winds do stick around for that eastern coastline of the North Island and will gradually ease off later on in the day."

The ridge of high pressure from the Tasman sea which brought sunshine to the West Coast yesterday would sweep across much of the country, bringing fine weather to most areas today.

But eastern parts of the South Island and Wellington were likely to get a bit of cloud or the odd shower, Murray said.

Skies were expected to stay mostly dry for Mother's Day tomorrow. But don't expect warm temperatures, she said.

"There's a few showers around the country here and there but not much, so most people will be able to get out. There'll be plenty of dry spells and even sunshine."

Auckland could see an isolated shower or two come through Sunday evening and cloud is expected to develop in Wellington later in the day.

Frosts and some low cloud were possible in inland parts of the South Island, but overall the forecast was looking pretty good.

"Monday's not looking too bad either," Murray said.

"Then on Tuesday our focus changes to a low, which will be approaching from the Tasman Sea - just our normal lows that we get from the Tasman Sea, but it will have some rain and wind associated with it that we're expecting to affect the country midweek."

Saturday's forecast


Chance of a morning shower, then fine weather and fresh southerlies easing. High of 17C


Fine. Fresh southerlies, easing in the evening, 15C


Fine. Fresh southerlies, easing in the afternoon, 15C


Fine. Fresh south easterlies, easing in the afternoon, 16C


Cloudy periods, with a few showers until evening. Strong southerlies, easing in the afternoon. 11C.


A few showers clearing in the morning and becoming fine. Southerlies dying out in the morning, 11C


Morning cloud clearing. Westerlies dying out, 13C

(Source: MetService)