A period of unsettled weather has set in bringing rain and showers to the west, and is likely to hang around and spoil the weekend.

MetService lead meteorologist Mark Todd said a weak front was moving over the country from the Tasman Sea, leaving an unsettled westerly flow in its wake.

"So this means showers to most western areas in both islands, while it will be mostly dry in the east."

This westerly flow was likely to hang around until Sunday.

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Today would start fine in most places, before showers kicked in this afternoon, with some heavy about Auckland.

Snow lowered to 900m in parts of the South Island overnight, with road snow warnings in place for Lindis Pass (SH8), Crown Range Rd and Milford Rd (SH94).

Another weakening front embedded in this westerly flow was expected to pass over the South Island on Saturday, then the North Island on Sunday.

Heavy rain was forecast for Fiordland and southern Westland from Friday to Saturday, with a low risk of severe westerly gales about exposed parts of coastal Southland including Stewart Island, and Clutha.

The westerlies would ease later on Sunday, as a narrow ridge of high pressure moved on to the country, followed by another front on Monday.

This front was expected to bring rain to western parts of the South Island and Northland later on Monday.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Sunny spells. A few showers this afternoon. Westerlies. 18C high, 7C overnight.

Auckland

​ Cloudy periods. Isolated showers, widespread and possibly heavy for a time this afternoon. Westerlies. 16C high, 8C overnight.

Hamilton

Showers, some possibly heavy, developing late morning. Showers become rare this afternoon. Westerlies. 15C high, 4C overnight.

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Tauranga

Sunny spells, but a few showers this afternoon. Westerlies. 16C high, 5C overnight.

New Plymouth Showers becoming few and far between about midday and sunny spells developing. Brisk westerlies. 14C high, 8C overnight.

Napier Fine with early frosts. Westerlies, gusty in the afternoon. 17C high, 4C overnight.

Wellington Showers clearing this morning and becoming fine. Northwesterlies, changing southwest this evening. 13C high, 6C overnight.

Nelson A few morning showers then fine. Southwesterlies. 14C high, 2C overnight.

Christchurch Morning cloud then fine. Light winds. 12C high, -1C overnight.

Dunedin Becoming fine this morning. Southwesterlies. 12C high, 5C overnight.