Light winds and settled weather is set to continue today as most of the country prepares for a week with no significant rainfall.

The drier than normal start to Autumn sees drought in the Tasman region and very dry conditions in both the North and South Islands.

MetService meteorologist Amy Rossiter said a high-pressure system hanging over the country was bringing the settled weather that would continue for a few days.

Yesterday Woodbourne in Blenheim reached 31.5C, Ashburton in Canterbury made it to 30.4C and Pukaki, also in Canterbury sat at a balmy, 29.4C.


The only sign of moisture was the heavy rain watch in place over Fiordland and Stewart Island until 1pm.

"It's wrapping around the high and coming into the South Island.

"As we move through the week another front would start moving over the South Island over Wednesday and Thursday bringing a northwesterly flow over the country.

"With that front coming up we will see some rain in western parts of the South Island.

Towards the end of the week, there were conflicted weather models regarding a low that was developing across western parts of the country, she said.

"It seems that the western parts of the country will get some rain."

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said drought conditions were in effect across parts of the Far North, Tasman, Nelson, Buller and Marlborough along with widespread dry to extremely dry conditions.

Niwa's prediction for the March to May period forecasted temperatures on the warmer side for the entire country, as well as a bit of rainfall.


Niwa's Ben Noll said that the Nelson region – much of which has been sweltering in a drought – would be difficult to forecast.

Much of the North Island and upper South Island were still experiencing dry conditions, but nowhere were these more severe than the Nelson-Tasman region.

Its dry season notably featured a 40-day dry spell that ran from January 16 until Sunday, and there had only been a single day since the start of the year when rainfall levels ever climbed above 5mm.

The most dramatic figure was likely the meagre 2.4mm that Richmond received for the entire month, of February, so far – well below the 63.5mm that fell on average, and in contrast to the 211mm recorded there in the same month last year.

Whangārei: Fine. Light southwesterlies. High 25C Low 12C

Auckland: Fine, apart from areas of morning and evening cloud. Southwesterlies. High 23C Low 15C

Tauranga: Fine. Westerlies dying out overnight. High 28C Low 14C

Napier: Fine. Westerlies turning northeast for a time in the afternoon and evening. High 25C Low 11C

Whanganui: Fine, apart from morning and evening cloud. Light winds, but afternoon and evening westerlies. High 24C Low 14C

Wellington: Fine with northerlies. High 21C Low 15C

Christchurch: Fine. Northeast breezes in the afternoon. High 28C Low 13C

Dunedin: Fine with some high cloud. Northwest winds. High 29C Low 17C

Greymouth: Mostly cloudy, occasional drizzle. Westerly breezes. High 20C Low 15C