As the sun sets on 2018 no one wants the weather to rain on their parade and for those eastern areas of the North Island and upper South Island conditions will remain dry.

Though a severe weather watch for heavy rain over parts of Westland and Fiordland is set to expire this morning, rain will continue to affect western parts of the South Island into the New Year, with cloud and patchy drizzle developing as far north as Auckland by midnight.

Scattered showers will dampen eastern parts of the lower South Island on New Year's Eve, with thunderstorms possible in North Otago and parts of Dunedin during Monday afternoon and evening.

MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr said, "New Year's Eve brings a mixed bag of weather, with a slow moving front forecast to lie over the central South Island while high pressure and westerlies dominates to the north."

Advertisement

"This means the sunniest weather will be in places east of major mountain ranges away from that front.

"In particular Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, coastal Bay of Plenty and Nelson are set to see a fine end to 2019."

WeatherWatch's official 2018 New Years Eve forecast is picking a mostly sunny day for Northland, while Auckland has a mix of sun and cloud, perhaps even a shower around midday then cloud breaking away in the evening to finally reveal clearer skies.

Waikato may see a shower or two this morning, while cloud won't break away till evening.

There will be some cloud about western Bay of Plenty, clearing away in the evening, and eastern Bay of Plenty has a mainly sunny day. Winds are light tending to the west this afternoon.

The lower western North Island sees mostly cloudy skies with a morning shower or two, cloud breaks to some sun in the afternoon and becoming dry, winds from the west to northwest. Overnight some cloud may thicken up again for western parts of the North Island.

The east coast of the North Island has a mostly sunny day although expect some high cloud, mainly south of Hawke's Bay. Winds from the northwest, in the afternoon an onshore east to northeast breeze may develop.

In the South Island, there will be rain for south Westland with heavy falls possible this morning, gradually easing from afternoon with dry areas slowly increasing.

It will be mostly cloudy with occasional showers for north Westland south of about Westport, clearing in the evening and cloud may even break away for a time. Winds fairly light from the west or northwest.

Nelson and Marlborough are looking to have a mainly dry morning, expect sunny areas and some high cloud with west to northwesterly winds tending onshore after midday.

This afternoon isolated showers may develop about hills and ranges especially for Marlborough. These showers may become heavy with thunderstorms then easing and clearing in the evening.

Canterbury sees sunny spells with east to northeasterly winds, cloud may be a little more frequent south of Banks Peninsula bringing the odd isolated shower.

Late this afternoon or early evening a few heavy isolated showers may develop about inland North Canterbury then clearing at night. From afternoon cloud will start to thicken south of Banks Peninsula then spreading northwards this evening.

Otago sees mostly cloudy skies with a few showers, dry spells developing this afternoon especially nearer the coast, shower activity clears overnight. Winds are mostly light.

Southland sees the risk of a shower or two this morning then drying out during the afternoon, fairly cloudy but some sun may break through at times after midday, cloud more likely to break during the evening. Winds are from the southwest.

Today's forecast

Whangārei:

Fine. Light winds. High 26C / Low 16C.

Auckland: Fine, apart from cloud and isolated drizzle this morning and again this evening. Southwesterlies. High 23C / Low 17C.

Tauranga: Morning cloud otherwise fine. Westerly breezes dying out. High 26C / Low 17C.

Hamilton: Mostly cloudy, but longer fine spells this afternoon. possible drizzle morning and evening. Westerly breeze. High 25C / Low 15C.

New Plymouth: Mostly cloudy, but longer fine spells this afternoon. possible drizzle morning and evening. Westerly breeze. High 22C / Low 15C.

Napier: Fine. Afternoon northeasterlies. High 27C / Low 17C.

Wellington: Cloudy at times. Morning drizzle. Northerlies dying out. High 23C / Low 17C.

Nelson: Fine, high cloud. Northeasterlies. High 26C / Low 17C.

Christchurch: Cloudy periods, chance afternoon shower. Northeasterlies. High 21C / Low 15C.

Dunedin: Occasional rain developing this morning. Light winds. High 18C / Low 14C.