A grey, rainy weekend is in store for most of the country, with showers expected to arrive in Auckland later today.

A cold front is arriving at the top of the North Island, and will reach Northland early afternoon, Auckland later in the afternoon, and Gisborne and Hawke's Bay tonight.

The rain will persist into the evening, and will possibly be heavy in places. A few showers are also expected overnight.

"It is nothing too dramatic," Metservice forecaster Curtis Hayes said.

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"Highs in Auckland will still be around 17 today and 15C or 16C tomorrow."

Rain is also expected for all places between Kapiti and Canterbury today.

Severe rain watches are in place for Marlborough and the Tararua Ranges north of Wellington.

Road snowfall warnings are in place for Arthurs Pass and Potters Pass in Canterbury.

Tomorrow, there will be isolated showers in Auckland in the afternoon and it will be slightly cooler, with a high of around 16C.

More showers are also expected in Northland and the west of the North Island, while it will be fine in the eastern areas like Gisborne.

In the South Island, there is a chance of heavy rain on the west of the island tomorrow but it will be generally fine for Canterbury and Marlborough.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Whangārei

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High: 17C

Cloudy periods. Rain developing afternoon, clearing in the evening. Northerlies turning westerly evening.

Auckland

High: 17C

Cloudy periods. Rain developing late afternoon, then easing to isolated showers at night. Northerlies turning westerly evening.

Tauranga

High: 17C

Cloudy periods, chance shower. Rain developing in the evening. Northerlies.

Taupō

High: 13C

Cloudy periods, chance shower or two. Rain developing in the evening. Gusty northwesterlies.

New Plymouth

High: 15C

Occasional showers, but period of rain in the evening. Northerlies changing westerly at night.

Napier

High: 17C

High cloud. A few showers overnight. Gusty northwesterlies.

Whanganui

High: 18C

Cloudy periods, chance morning shower. Rain developing late evening. Northwesterlies.

Wellington

High: 14C

Periods of rain, easing to isolated showers this afternoon, but returning late tonight. Northerlies developing this morning.

Christchurch

High: 10C

Cloudy, with patchy drizzle turning to rain this afternoon. Easterlies turn southwest late evening.

Dunedin

High: 12C

Mainly fine. Northeasterlies, becoming strong along the coast around midday through afternoon.