Summer has finally returned to the upper North Island, with gorgeous conditions set to greet the elite female tennis stars walking onto centre court for tomorrow's ASB Classic Women's Final.

Auckland should be bathed in a sunny high of 25C for the big game as light winds and afternoon sea breezes brush across the city, MetService says.

Today is likewise expected to be fine in Auckland with light winds and a high of 23C in what should mark the start of a week of settled and fine weather across much of Northland and the upper North Island.

It means competitors and spectators at next week's ASB Classic Men's tournament should enjoy temperatures into the mid-20s each day.

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Gisborne will be among the country's warmest locations, with a high of 28C today and 30C tomorrow.

Those in the South Island, meanwhile, will need to batten down the hatches.

Heavy rain and gusts up to 140kmh are tipped to hit the area today. MetService's heavy rain warnings stretch almost the entire West Coast from Fiordland to Westland and the interior mountains.

Gusts of up to 120km/h are expected in exposed places in areas covered by the warnings, with 140kmh gusts possible in Fiordland.

Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures, while driving might be hazardous for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles, MetService said.

Heavy rain could also cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly with surface flooding and slips also possible and potentially hazardous driving conditions.

Queenstown, Invercargill and Christchurch are not included in the heavy rain warnings but do have strong wind warnings.

Queenstown is tipped to hit a high of 21C today, with rain to hit from 6pm tonight, MetService says.

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Franz Josef on the West Coast is heading for a high of 17C,. with rain to start from 2pm and become heavy overnight from 10pm.

Severe Weather Saturday 11 January

SEVERE WEATHER FOR THE SOUTH ISLAND, MOSTLY SETTLED FOR THE NORTH A strong front will bring some Severe Weather to the South Island tomorrow as it makes its way northwards over the Island. Watches and Warnings are in force for all the South Island except Nelson tomorrow, while the far south of the North Island will also see some strong winds. You can read the details here http://bit.ly/AllWarnings. Lewis is here to explain the weekends Severe weather for you and if you want more details be sure to visit http://bit.ly/metservicenz ^KL

Posted by MetService New Zealand on Thursday, 9 January 2020

Christchurch, meanwhile, is heading for a high of 27C today with strong winds and top of 29C tomorrow.

Dunedin is tipped to get to 24C today with light rain in the evening and wind becoming strong.

Across the upper North Island conditions are looking fine and settled.

Whangārei is heading for a sunny top of 26C today and 27C tomorrow, Hamilton is looking at 25C today and 27C tomorrow, and Tauranga will have highs of 24C on both days.

Napier residents can expect fine days with highs of 26C today and 29C tomorrow.

Wellington residents won't be blessed with the same summer weather, however, as they head for wind and highs of 19C today and tomorrow as long fine spells are interrupted by cloudy periods.