Temperatures across the country will stay fine and settled through to early next week, thanks to a blanket of cloud locked above the country.

New Zealand is sandwiched between a high pressure system, sitting east of the Chatham Islands, and a low system, sitting to the north-west of New Zealand in the Tasman Sea.

"In one word, the whole country is looking very cloudy from Saturday through to Tuesday at least," Metservice meteorologist Tui McInnes said.

But don't fear - it's not the gloomy winter clouds we've seen accompany the dramatic weather of late.


"It's more like a big sheet over your head than the low grey clouds," McInnes said.

"It acts like a blanket over the country. It keeps the temperatures fairly constant - if there wasn't any warmth it would stay cold."

Unusually, temperatures across the country will all sit in the low-to-mid teens, with only a narrow spread of difference between the North and South Island, McInnes said.

And unseasonably, the mercury won't creep down to shivering low temperatures overnight until the high system dissipates.

Ashburton was stretching towards 17C on Saturday afternoon, while the chilliest spot in the country was on the Desert Rd, at 6C.

Set to clear mid-next week, cloud is the constant factor in the immediate forecast, but a few weather watches are in force for the remainder of the weekend.

A heavy rain watch is in palace for Westland, south of Fox Glacier and Fiordland, north of Milford Sound until Sunday, with rainfall that may approach warning criteria.

Around the Otago Lakes headwaters and rivers is set for a drenching, with heavy rainfall expected in the area through to Sunday night and a heavy rain watch in place.

Set to clear mid-next week, cloud is the constant factor in the immediate forecast. Photo / MajicWeather
Set to clear mid-next week, cloud is the constant factor in the immediate forecast. Photo / MajicWeather

And while Auckland's dam levels have risen from their desperately low numbers, more rainfall wouldn't be unwelcome.

Watercare stats show dam levels currently sit at 59.52 per cent of its total capacity, still well below the historical average of 88.40 per cent for this time last year.

Metservice short forecast


Occasional showers, turning to rain tomorrow with heavy falls possible north of Bay of Islands in the evening.

Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay

Mostly cloudy with a few showers.

The remainder of the North Island, that's Waitomo and Taupō to Wellington, including Wairarapa

Mostly cloudy.

Nelson, Buller and northern Westland

Cloudy with patchy rain or showers.


Southern Westland and Fiordland

Periods of rain, heavy at times.

Marlborough and Canterbury

High cloud.

Otago and Southland

Mostly cloudy, with scattered rain.

Chatham Islands

Mostly cloudy. A few showers developing tomorrow evening.