Don't pack the shorts and t-shirts away just yet — New Zealand's long, hot summer isn't going anywhere.

The country has enjoyed a warm and settled start to autumn, with temperatures remaining consistently in the mid to high 20s in the upper North Island and in the low 20s — with some centres, such as Christchurch occasionally soaring as high as 30C — for much of the rest of the country.

MetService meteorologist Josh Griffin said high pressure had brought settled weather to the country this month, and that was — after a front brings wet weather to some early this week — expected to continue.

The rain is not to worry about until later this week, with all the country waking to a mainly fine day today , with blue sky weather for most of the South Island and much of the North.


The upper North Island and two regular South Island hot spots — Blenheim and Queenstown — can expect temperatures in the mid-20s, while other areas will reach the low 20s.

Only Tauranga could spoil the sunshine party, with cloudy periods and a few showers forecast.

And the front will make its presence felt in Fiordland, where a heavy rain warning had been issued for from 3pm today through to the early hours of Tuesday.

That front would then slowly move up the country through till the middle of the week, bringing rain and then showers to central New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday, before stalling somewhere — as yet undetermined — over the North Island, Griffin said.

But it would remain warm, and in many cases hot, throughout.

While temperatures wouldn't rise above 21C in Wellington, eastern centres including Napier, Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin will soar to the mid to high 20s in the first half of the week.

Temperatures in the mid 20s, along with mainly fine weather, are also forecast in Palmerston North, Hamilton, Auckland and Whangarei.

And everyone would be smiling late in the week, with more settled weather expected behind the front, Griffin said.

The continuing mostly settled, warm weather might be bringing smiles to many, but it was no anomaly.

"It seems to be nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year ... it's not going to be getting cold just yet."