A weather system that blasted parts of southeastern Australia with wintry conditions this week is on its way to New Zealand.

The system dragged Melbourne temperatures on Friday down to 13C - just above the 12.2C May record, dumped early snow on Victorian ski fields and brought gale force winds, which blew a mobile phone antenna on to an Adelaide supermarket.

Now it's expected to bring rain, wind and thunderstorms to New Zealand.

The system was being generated by a broad, complex trough, with an active front ahead of it, MetService meteorologist Andy Best said.


The front was already bringing showers to Auckland overnight on Saturday, where the dams that supply the city's water were less than half full last week, and where water-saving measures are already taking place.

"That front is slowing down, by midday tomorrow the front is still a bit to the west of Taranaki."

Surfers enjoyed the mucky weather at Takapuna beach on Sunday. Video / Grant Bradley
Weather reporter interrupted by his pet dog. Video / FOX13

Heavy rain watches are in place today for Northland and parts of the central North Island, and strong wind watches for Taranaki, Taihape, the Whanganui hill country, parts of the lower North Island and Marlborough. There are no snow warnings.The bleak conditions would continue for many tomorrow, when heavy rain and possible thunderstorms will continue in the northern North Island, and rain and showers in the western South Island, Best said.

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The wet would continue on Tuesday, before easing in the North Island later in the day. Rain would develop in eastern parts of the South Island, and showers elsewhere.

Tuesday was also expected to be cold in some areas. Frosts are expected Alexandra, where the temperature would fall to a low of 0C on Tuesday, Best said.

Even Auckland would be relatively brisk. Although the city could still expect highs of 21C today and tomorrow, the temperature would dip to 17C on Tuesday, with a low of 9C overnight.