The hot and dry weather continues for most of the country but some light relief could be on the cards for Nelson tomorrow.

MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said the Nelson region which has been ravaged by a massive forest fire since last Tuesday would remain dry today and tonight, but could see a small amount of rain tomorrow morning.

A front was slowly moving across the Tasman Sea this morning, and would bring rain to Fiordland and the lower West Coast later today.

"That front should bring some light rain to Nelson in the early hours tomorrow morning, but at this stage it is not looking likely more than 1mm. But we will be looking at the models which might change and bring more much-needed rain."

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Winds for the Nelson region had been downgraded from yesterday, giving firefighters battling the 2300ha blaze a better chance to bring it under control.

The North Island was in for another stunning day with mostly settled weather and highs in the late 20s.

Auckland was in for a fine day with a high of 27C, while Tauranga and Hamilton were looking the top spots with highs of 29C.

Eastern areas would see a bit of cloud as an onshore easterly flow continued. They would start to improve later today as the low pressure system, formerly tropical cyclone Neil, off the coast moved away.

Some isolated showers were forecast this afternoon in the ranges through Northland, Auckland and Coromandel.

More settled weather was forecast for most of the country until late Wednesday when a front reached the South Island, spreading rain up the West Coast.

It was likely to only reach as north as Buller, with some light rain crossing the Southern Alps to Christchurch, Loots said.

Looking further out WeatherWatch NZ analyst Philip Duncan said several low pressure systems above New Zealand could merge together, covering the size of Australia.

While that might sound intimidating, when lows merged they usually spread their energy so far and thin they failed to reach the "storm" category.

Still, by Friday this tropical low could bring rain to very dry parts in the north of New Zealand.

Over the weekend it could drop south to cover the upper North Island, although it could also run into a belt of high pressure circling New Zealand.

"There is a very fine line between tropical rain to the north, and completely bone dry over New Zealand. For those trying to lock in weekend plans in northern New Zealand it will be a matter of 'watch this space' as we fine tune that boundary for heavy rain and completely/mostly dry."

Today's weather

Whang─ürei

Mainly fine, but chance shower or two until evening. Light winds and sea breezes. 28C high, 16C overnight.

Auckland

A fine day. Southwest breezes developing afternoon. 27C high, 18C overnight.

Hamilton

A fine day. Westerly breezes. 29C high, 13C overnight.

Tauranga

A fine day. Light winds and sea breezes. 29C high, 16C overnight.

New Plymouth A fine day. Light winds and sea breezes. 24C high, 16C overnight.

Napier A morning shower or two, then fine spells increasing. Light winds. 25C high, 14C overnight.

Whanganui A fine day. Light winds and sea breezes. 27C high, 14C overnight.

Wellington A fine day. Northerly breezes. 25C high, 16C overnight.

Nelson Fine. Light winds and sea breezes. 23C high, 16C overnight.

Christchurch Fine. Northeasterlies picking up early afternoon. 26C high, 15C overnight.

Dunedin Mainly fine, but cloud increasing evening, and chance light rain. Northeasterly strengthening afternoon. 25C high, 16C overnight.