A fine Autumn day is on the cards for much of the country after another chilly start.

MetService meteorologist Hannah Moes said Monday morning was slightly warmer than Sunday, but still dropped below 0C in places.

Manapouri was the coldest spot at -1.2C, while Alexandra got down to -0.5C and Dunedin 1.1C.

Auckland also dropped into single figures, reaching 9C at about 6am. The city was in for a fine day, with southerlies and a high of 20C.

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The wild weather over the past few days would start to ease as a trough moved away from the country, Moes said.

A heavy rain warning was in place for the Tararua District and Hawke's Bay south of Waipawa, with up to 130mm forecast to fall by 5pm today.

Temperatures would start to return to normal for this time of year as a ridge of high pressure formed over the country today and tonight.

The ridge would move from southern and central New Zealand onto northern areas on Tuesday, allowing a front to approach the south of the South Island from the west.

The front was forecast to move onto the lower South Island on Wednesday then onto the North Island on Thursday.

A low was expected to develop on this front as it slowly moved east across the North Island on Friday.

The front was forecast to bring northerly rain to the west of the South Island, with potential for heavy rain in Fiordland and central and southern Westland from Tuesday to Thursday.

There was lower potential for heavy rain for the far north of Westland, Buller and northwest Nelson on Wednesday and Thursday, and about Mount Taranaki and the Tararua range on Thursday.

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A new ridge was forecast to spread onto the South Island from the Tasman Sea on Friday.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Cloudy periods, chance morning shower. Southwesterlies. 21C high, 13C overnight.

Auckland

Fine. Southwesterlies. 20C high, 13C overnight.

Hamilton

Fine. Southwest breezes from late morning. 20C high, 7C overnight.

Tauranga

Fine, some evening cloud. Southwesterlies. 21C high, 10C overnight.

New Plymouth Cloudy periods. Chance shower late morning or early afternoon. Southeasterlies, gusty this afternoon. 20C high, 9C overnight.

Napier Rain setting in late morning, chance heavy and thundery. Easing to showers evening. Southwesterlies. 17C high, 9C overnight.

Whanganui Cloudy periods, chance morning shower. Southerlies. 19C high, 9C overnight.

Wellington A few showers, clearing late morning to early afternoon and becoming fine. Southeasterlies, dying out evening. 16C high, 9C overnight.

Nelson Fine. Light winds. 20C high, 8C overnight.

Christchurch Remaining showers clearing this morning, becoming fine. Northeasterlies from afternoon. 17C high, 6C overnight.

Dunedin A fine day. Northeasterlies. 18C high, 11C overnight.