Make the most of sunny spells this weekend - what follows is going to be wet and windy.

After summer's long awaited return this week the rays will stick around for the most part this weekend - apart from some cloud and the odd shower.

The weather forecast for those in the North Island is mostly settled - although not quite as warm as sunny as the last couple of days.

"There will be some cloud and the odd light shower but those will be few and far between," said Claire Flynn from Metservice.


"In general it is not too bad a weekend."

Temperatures are slightly lower for the weekend and are expected to hover around the mids 20s for most of the North Island.

The South Island is a different story with severe weather warnings for heavy rain Westland and Fiordland this weekend.

Flynn said: "That area is used to a lot of rain so it is a pretty standard heavy rainfall for them but people should just be aware that it is expected."

Time spent clearing out the gutters and clearing rubbish would not be wasted as Cyclone Gita, currently south of New Caledonia, makes her way to New Zealand on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We would urge people to be proactive and prepare for heavy rain and wide reaching winds next week."

Gita carved out a destructive path through the South Pacific this week.

Tonga was hard hit as 230km/h winds smashed the kingdom.


The cyclone slammed into the north coast of the main island of Tongatapu, bringing down electricity lines, smashing churches and levelling fruit trees and crops vital to the island's livelihood.

The Tongan government said 4,500 people were being housed in 108 evacuation centres.

Roofs were ripped off houses, trees knocked over and school and churches badly damaged. Many places are without power, phone services and clean water is an issue.

An Air Force plane flew reflief supplies to Tonga on Thursday to help.

As Gita heads to New Zealand it will be reclassified as a mid-latitude cyclone - which differs to a tropical cyclone which has an "eye".

"It is different by the time it gets here. We won't have that eye of the storm and in the tropical cyclone the strongest winds are around the eye," Flynn said.

"With mid-latitude the strong winds are across a broader region."

Flynn said that didn't mean the storm wouldn't cause damage in New Zealand.

"It depends on the track of the cyclone but people need to be aware there will be rain and strong winds but it is hard to say exactly where it will hit."

"At the moment we are certain it will be here Tuesday or Wednesday - the north island and upper south will be most affected."

On Twitter NIWA said the eye of the cyclone was growing as it headed to New Zealand. "Tropical #CycloneGita's eye has grown substantially since yesterday and now is over 100 km wide -- that's larger than average," NIWA reported.

Gary O'Meara of Wellington Water encouraged people to clear litter and debris from gutters and drains.

"Right now we're checking known trouble spots such as culvert and drain intakes that can get blocked, and organising standby crews in place for Monday," he said.

"It's also important for people to do what they can as well. A blockage here can end up creating a major problem."

And Jono Meldrum of Civil Defence said the group had beem meeting with other agencies and would keep an eye on the situation.

"Current modelling shows it making landfall in New Zealand late Tuesday afternoon, but cyclones can be unpredictable," Meldrum said.

"Regardless of when or where it hits, the entire North Island can expect heavy rain from early next week," he says.

Metservice urged people to keep updated with weather forecasts and take proactive steps to mitigate damage.

"Keep up to date because with each day we can give more specific details and we will start giving watches and warnings on the website."