Popular North Island holiday spots that were hit by last week's storm are in for another drenching next week.
MetService forecaster Cameron Coutts says another cold front is forming in the Tasman Sea and is likely to hit much of New Zealand from about Wednesday next week.
"There could be some reasonable rain in the northwest and west of the South Island and also in the north of the North Island - Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and possibly North Taranaki," he said.
"In general for January we think it's going to be slightly above normal rainfall for the west and north of the country but slightly drier in the east."
Only localised late-afternoon showers and thunderstorms are forecast to break a largely dry spell for most of the North Island tomorrow and over the weekend.
But the Thames-Coromandel area, which was hit with some of the worst flooding last week, is forecast to get occasional rain on Tuesday and significant rain on Wednesday.
Auckland can expect occasional rain on Tuesday and showers from Wednesday through Friday next week.
Christchurch, which has had surface flooding today, will get more heavy rain from Wednesday to Friday.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said early-summer drought conditions had dissipated over all except the southern tip of the country.
Its Hotspot Watch, which showed soil moisture below average over almost the whole country last week, now shows normal or above-average moisture everywhere except in Otago/Southland and in small pockets in Buller, Horowhenua, Central Hawke's Bay, the Hauraki Plains and on the northernmost Aupouri Peninsula north of Kaitaia.
Principal forecaster Chris Brandolino said today's heavy rain on the West Coast would help farmers there just a day after Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor declared an official drought in the Buller and Grey Districts.
"The rainfall they're getting will go a long way towards alleviating the situation," he said.
He said rain across the previously-parched southwestern part of the North Island would be normal or above normal for the next two weeks.
"With moderate to even heavy rain possible in the Far North, the hotspot on the Aupouri Peninsula is likely to weaken or even dissipate during the next week, while the small hotspots in Kapiti Coast, Horowhenua, and Central Hawke's Bay may show minor improvement," the Hotspot Watch says.
"Substantial increases in soil moisture will be likely during the next week across the West Coast and Tasman due to expected heavy rainfall, with at least minor to moderate increases possible from central Canterbury to Nelson.
"For the lower South Island, possible showers in the middle of next week could prevent the large hotspot there from worsening, although significant improvements are also not anticipated."
A Ministry of Primary Industries spokeswoman said the Grey District, Buller, Taranaki, Manawatuū-Whanganui and Wellington remained classified as in drought despite the rain.
"The rain that has fallen will support pasture growth, and will take two to three weeks before this translates into feed for animals," she said.
"Winter crop yields will benefit. In the meantime, farmers will still use their drought strategies to get through. Building up pasture covers, supplementary feed and animal condition will continue to be a priority.
"Droughts are slow to build and slow to recover from. Farmers are already dealing with the longer-term impacts of the drought.
"For example, farmers have been unable to make and save much supplementary feed for winter, or have been using their winter feed already. Some dairy farmers have needed to dry off or cull stock, and bought in extra supplements.
"So the impacts will be felt at least into winter. Planning to get through winter will be crucial and help is available to work out that what that plan will look like."
• Help is available from the Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254).