Hold on to your hats, the wet and windy weather we've been experiencing isn't over just yet, with forecasters predicting the winds may pick up even further before a change of fortunes next week.

Forecasts suggest various surges of wind coming in from the westerly quarter this week, mainly the west to southwest.

The windiest areas look to be the lower half of the South Island and around Cook Strait, and the lower North Island between now and Saturday.

MetService has issued a strong wind watch for the Canterbury high country, Otago and Southland from 10am tomorrow to 10am Saturday.

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Westerlies may rise to severe gale in exposed places by noon on Thursday.

The strong winds are expected to ease on Saturday as winds turn southwesterly.

However, a forecast of dry conditions next week will be a welcome relief to those sick of the wet and windy weather.

WeatherWatch NZ said a large high, or anti-cyclone, was drifting very slowly towards New Zealand.

This would bring a break to the windy conditions in the South Island, and frequent wet weather along the western side of the country.

"This big high will drift east from Australia (Tasmania area) this weekend and begin settling winds down, especially by Sunday [afternoon].

Air pressure map for midnight Tuesday. Image / WeatherWatch NZ
Air pressure map for midnight Tuesday. Image / WeatherWatch NZ

"By Monday the high should cover New Zealand, although we do expect a few showers here and there. Winds should be fairly light."

The high may linger for some regions for much of next week, with three to five "mainly dry and calm days" coming, with the sunniest weather inland through both islands.

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