Wrap up tight, get the fire going and make sure you take an umbrella out with you this weekend - winter weather is officially on the way.

The weather is forecast to be a bit of a mixed bag this weekend, with strong winds and wet weather hitting most of the country over the next three days.

Strong winds today will be followed by showers on Saturday as a front moves up the country, leaving colder temperatures in its wake.

"The dominant weather at the moment is definitely the wind," MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said.

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Wind gusts of 140km/h were recorded at Mid Dome in the South Island and 110km/h on the Rimutaka hill.

The worst of the wind in the south started last night, and would hit the North Island about 6pm tonight, Adams said.

MetService has a weather watch out for eastern parts of the North Island and for the Canterbury high country, Otago and Southland.

A couple of fronts were moving slowly up the South Island today, bringing with them showers especially on the West Coast.

The North Island will enjoy a bit of sunshine today before the front moves north, bringing rain tomorrow.

The weather should fine up around the country by Sunday, but temperatures behind the front will drop, in some places by as much 7C.

Christchurch is forecast for a high of 21C today, dropping to 14C with colder air behind the front on Sunday, Adams said.

This drop was likely to be similar in Wellington but not as marked in Auckland.

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Today's forecast

Whangarei:

Fine spells. Light winds. High 21C

Auckland: Cloudy periods, and isolated showers until afternoon. Westerlies. High 20C

Tauranga: Fine spells. Westerlies. High 21C

Hamilton: Cloudy periods, chance morning shower. Westerly breezes. High 21C

Wellington: Fine with high cloud. Chance evening shower in northern suburbs. Strong, gusty northwesterlies. High 18C

Nelson: Fine. Northwesterlies. High 19C

Christchurch: Fine, high cloud at times. Northwesterlies strengthening during the day, easing tonight. High 21C

Queenstown: Partly cloudy. Chance evening shower. Westerlies, strengthening during the day. High 14C

Dunedin: A few showers before dawn, then long fine spells until showers return this evening. Strong westerlies. High 16C