It will be mostly fine today ahead of strong winds and rain about the lower South Island overnight.

Settled and relaxed weather was set to continue through the week, MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said.

The upper North Island will have some morning cloud about Auckland and Gisborne before becoming fine in the afternoon.

The lower North Island would see some cloudy periods about the west coast from New Plymouth to Wellington with some showers expected.

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It was much the same for the South Island with morning cloud expected and showers about Greymouth and Westport on the West Coast.

"Overall a fine day for most places.

"However, for the far south things do take a turn for the worse towards the evening, with strengthening westerly winds.

"We are also expecting some rain to push to the south and southwest of the country. Invercargill could see a wet end to the day."

A front was expected to approach the lower South Island from the southwest on Tuesday evening, westerly gales will affect the far south on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

A strong wind watch was in place for Clutha and Southland near the coast, including Stewart Island with gales approaching severe strength in exposed areas.

A ridge of high pressure is forecast to dominate much of the country during Wednesday and Thursday.

However, a front was expected to move over the far south of the country from the southwest early on Wednesday, that would be preceded by strong westerly winds.

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There was low confidence, a 20 per cent chance, of warning amounts of rain around southern Fiordland, coastal Southland and Clutha on Wednesday.

Southwesterly winds could approach gale force in coastal Southland, coastal Otago and south of Dunedin on Wednesday morning.

Another weak front was forecast to affect the south of the South Island early Thursday, bringing rain.

Your weather
Whangārei: Fine spells, chance shower from afternoon. Light winds. High 19C Low 10C

Auckland: Fine spells. Southwest breezes. High 16C Low 11C

Tauranga: A fine day, some evening cloud. Gusty westerlies developing afternoon. High 19C Low 8C

Whanganui: Cloudy periods, chance evening shower. Westerlies, strengthening evening. High 17C Low 10C

Napier: Morning cloud then fine. Light winds, afternoon sea breezes. High 18C Low 7C

Wellington: A cloudy start, fine spells from late morning. Northerly gradually strengthens. High 15C Low 8C

Christchurch: Fine, chance morning fog. Northeast breezes. High 16C Low 7C

Dunedin: Morning cloud, then fine. Westerlies, strengthening evening. High 17C Low 12C