Warmer than average weather is to return for most of New Zealand this week delaying the onset of Autumn.

MetService meteorologist Hannah Moes said it would be a mild start to the week for most on Monday, after a wet and cold weekend.

A narrow ridge of high pressure was spreading across most of the country. Auckland was in for a fine day with light winds and a high of 24C.

The only parts to see some unsettled conditions would be the West Coast this evening as a front approached land.

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The rest of the week was looking like similar conditions, with warm and fine weather for most and rain on the West Coast.

Rain could reach warning levels - 100mm in 24 hours - about Fiordland and Westland on Tuesday and Wednesday. Heavy rain would spread north on Wednesday and Thursday.

The northwest flow would conversely fuel hot and dry conditions on the east coast, courtesy of the foehn effect.

Moes said this would bring a return to warmer than average temperatures from Wednesday, with highs forecast in the mid-20s and even into the low-30s.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Morning cloudy periods, then fine. Light winds. 25C high, 14C overnight.

Auckland

Fine with variable high cloud. Light winds. 24C high, 16C overnight.

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Hamilton

Mainly fine, but chance afternoon shower. Light winds. 25C high, 12C overnight.

Tauranga

Fine with variable high cloud. Light winds. 25C high, 15C overnight.

New Plymouth Cloudy periods. Northwesterlies developing afternoon. 22C high, 15C overnight.

Napier Cloudy with a few morning showers, then fine breaks developing. Light winds. 24C high, 14C overnight.

Whanganui Cloudy periods. Light winds. 25C high, 15C overnight.

Wellington Early cloud and drizzle then fine breaks. Southerly dying afternoon, then northerlies developing. 21C high, 16C overnight.

Nelson Cloud slowly increasing. Northerlies developing late morning. 21C high, 15C overnight.

Christchurch Morning cloud and drizzle then fine, but cloud returning evening. Northeasterlies. 20C high, 13C overnight.

Dunedin Mostly cloudy, and morning drizzle. Northeasterlies. 21C high, 15C overnight.