South Islanders should take advantage of fine weather today, as a wet weekend looms across the country.
Heavy rain and brisk southeasterly winds will hit the Far North today, and although it will mainly be a sunny day for the South Island, the low to the north is expected to sink southwards tomorrow.
A trough of low pressure is approaching the North Island from the north Tasman Sea, and is expected to bring heavy rain to much of the country.
Northland has a high probability of exceeding 100mm of rain within 24 hours in the coming days and severe weather watches and warnings may be be issued.
In addition, northeasterly winds may reach severe gale force in exposed parts of Northland at times during Friday and Saturday.
"For most, Thursday is isn't going to be too bad, especially for the South Island, but we do have a front that is sinking from the north and that will start bringing some rain to Northland and some parts of the North Island today, with some pretty strong winds offshore," MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said.
"By the end of today Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel should see rain and we will start seeing further areas affected as we get closer to the weekend."
Lee said the low will bring a warm, moist northeast flow over the North Island, and by Saturday most of the island should be wet.
It is expected to sink as far south as just past Christchurch, he said.
"We don't have any watches or warnings as of yet, but we will probably be updating that this morning, so I would imagine that one or two areas might be added."
He advised people to keep an eye on the MetService website for watches and warnings in the next couple of days.
Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty:
The odd light shower turning to rain in the afternoon about Northland, spreading southwards later in the evening.
Western North Island (including Central North Island):
Sunny with some high cloud later in the day, easterly winds. Winds may tend westerly in the afternoon about northern Taranaki.
Eastern North Island: Mostly cloudy with the odd drizzle patch, drying out in the afternoon for the Wairarapa with some sun breaking through. East to northeasterly winds.
Wellington: A mix of sun and cloud with easterly quarter winds.
Marlborough & Nelson Mainly sunny weather with afternoon easterlies for Marlborough, winds tend northerly in the afternoon about Nelson.
Sunny with light winds in the morning then afternoon east to northeast breezes.
Sunny with light winds tending westerly in the afternoon.
Southland and Otago
A mainly sunny day with light winds and afternoon sea breezes.