The wet weather hitting the country this week will continue to dampen the upper North Island into the weekend.

Showers and scattered rain moved across the Upper North Island yesterday, with between 2mm and up to 20mm hitting many areas.

More wet weather is predicted this week, according to weatherwatch.co.nz.

"Totals varied but generally fell within the forecast of a few millimetres up to 15, maybe 20," forecaster Philip Duncan said.

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"However, it's fair to say many had less than two millimetres recorded too, meaning follow up rain is needed – and more is coming, at least in the form of showers.

"Monday's showers were, for some, very slow moving – allowing moisture to soak into the ground."

Rainfall accumulated in the 24 hours up to Monday, March 9 at 2.25pm. Image / Weatherwatch.co.nz
Rainfall accumulated in the 24 hours up to Monday, March 9 at 2.25pm. Image / Weatherwatch.co.nz
A 5 day accumulated rainfall graphic between Tuesday and Sunday. Image / Weatherwatch.co.nz
A 5 day accumulated rainfall graphic between Tuesday and Sunday. Image / Weatherwatch.co.nz
Accumulated 24 hour rainfall forecasted for 7am Wednesday. Image / Weatherwatch.co.nz
Accumulated 24 hour rainfall forecasted for 7am Wednesday. Image / Weatherwatch.co.nz

However, it wasn't quite drought-reversing but was enough rain to give plants and lawns a burst and green up pastures.

"In particular the kikuyu grass is expected to start growing quite quickly, even with just a few millimetres falling."

Duncan today said Australian forecasters, in their three-day outlook, gave a "moderate" chance of a sub tropical cyclone developing on Thursday.

Duncan said that chance then lifted to "high" on Friday and Saturday as it grows in the Coral Sea – an incredibly warm body of water, perfect for fuelling tropical cyclones.

The cyclone may also become a "severe" category 3 and above storm.

"March is the peak of the tropical cyclone season so a tropical storm at this time of year in the Southwest Pacific is normal," he said.

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"Sea surface temperatures are now at their warmest and this storm will be in an ideal area to grow with all the right ingredients and fuel."

Another second area of low pressure near New Caledonia, which could hit next week, would also likely head south eastwards away from Cairns and towards the north Tasman Sea.

"However, it's too early to say what impact – if any – this storm may have on New Zealand."

Computer modelling suggested it would drift southeast towards New Zealand around March 16-20, but there could be a large obstacle in the way.

"There will be a strong high pressure system around Tasmania moving into the NZ area around then. If the high moves in first it's a bit like a truck reversing out into traffic, the low will either stop in its tracks, or have to take a different route out to sea around New Zealand.

"With so much high pressure over much of New Zealand this weekend the high is the dominant force and could expand and keep this sub-tropical low north of New Zealand, or at sea."

MetService duty forecaster Tahlia Crabtree said it was too early to confirm what the tropical low in the Coral Sea would do next week, and if it would turn into a tropical cyclone.

It wouldn't be until Sunday that they would be able to confirm.

An image showing the sub tropical cyclone tracking towards the North Island with plenty of low pressure around NZ. Image / weatherwatch.co.nz
An image showing the sub tropical cyclone tracking towards the North Island with plenty of low pressure around NZ. Image / weatherwatch.co.nz

Until then, the weather will clear, with Auckland and the upper North Island continuing to get showers until tomorrow. Thursday and Friday in most other areas will be dry.

A front will also make its way up the South Island tomorrow, bringing with it a cool change and light rain to some North Island areas.

Wellington will feel that southerly move through this afternoon, bringing cloud and showers before clearing tomorrow.

Christchurch is a bit wet and cold today and tomorrow but that is expected to ease with fine weather Thursday and Friday.

"Definitely the story for Thursday and Friday is that all the weather should have moved on."

Weather outlook:

A brief forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Whangārei: Cloudy 24, Cloudy 24, Cloudy 23
Auckland: Showers 23, Showers 22, Cloudy, 24
Hamilton: Showers 23, Showers 22, Fine 25
Tauranga: Showers, 25, Showers, 23, Fine, 23
New Plymouth: Showers 21, Showers 22, Fine 22
Wellington: Rain 21, Rain 15, Cloud 17
Christchurch: Rain 18, Cloudy 15, Cloudy 20
Dunedin: Rain 16, Cloudy 15, Fine 18