Aucklanders are waking up to a wet weekend as thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls hit the north of the country and the bad weather is expected to rain on tomorrow's Christmas parade.

But organisers of today's Grey Lynn Park Festival, with its line-up of live music and food trucks, say they are determined to soldier on and will not cancel because of the weather.

"We will keep the gates open for entry until 9am in the hope that it's looking better," organisers wrote on the festival Facebook page.

"We will delay the stage opening until 11am."

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Organisers of tomorrow's Santa Parade say they will make a decision tomorrow between 9.30am and 10am about whether to hold the event or delay it until Sunday, December 2. They will announce the decision on Newstalk ZB and The Hits radio stations.

Further south, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is already underway, although the MetService has tweeted it will be hampered by poor visibility.

"Take care if you are competing or driving in the Taupo area," the forecaster said.

The MetService said a heavy rain watch remained in place in Auckland, Northland, Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula until tonight.

There was a possibility this would bring short bursts of rain that reached "warning criteria", it said.

In Auckland, the heavy falls are set to last until 6pm and the city is forecast to have a high of 22C.

The dreary weather is expected to last into next week. MetService is forecasting rain every day in Auckland for the next 10 days.

Elsewhere, Hamilton and Tauranga are tipped to hit highs of 18C and 19C with heavy morning rain easing to showers in the afternoon, while Wellington is expecting 20C with occasional showers.

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Rain is also forecast in New Plymouth and Napier, while Taumarunui - which had yesterday's top temperature of 24C - is forecast to reach 19C.

Rain is also set to fall across the South Island. Invercargill is the only place expecting sunshine and a high of 21C.

Christchurch can expect drizzling rain and a top of 17C, and Queenstown can expect 19C.

Otago residents still cleaning up from a deluge earlier this week aren't set to get any relief. MetService has issued a heavy rain watch for South Canterbury and North Otago beginning from 6pm.