Heavy rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds are set to batter the North Island today as an active front moves up the country.

MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee said the front was over the top of the South Island early morning, and would cross over to the North Island

"The North island is looking pretty wet today, most regions will see some rain," Lee said.

Rain was set to hit Auckland late morning, briefly heavy with possible squally thunderstorms. Northerlies would change to strong southwest this afternoon with a daily max temperature of 21C.

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There was a moderate risk of thunderstorms for the North Island's west coast, Taupō and Bay of Plenty through the day.

After a wet past few days, it was the South Island's turn to dry out, with conditions clearing through the day.

Tomorrow, the front would be on an easing trend, with a lingering cool southerly flow and just showers and potential gale winds in the east and south of the North Island.

By the end of tomorrow a ridge would have spread over much of the country, bringing settled weather to most places.

That settled weather was set to continue into the weekend, with just a weak front on Sunday potentially bringing some wet weather to the West Coast of the South island.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Few showers, but afternoon rain, briefly heavy with possible squally thunderstorms. Northerlies change southwest afternoon. 21C high, 13C overnight.

Auckland

Rain from late morning, briefly heavy with possible squally thunderstorms. Northerlies change strong southwest afternoon. 21C high, 14C overnight.

Hamilton

A few showers. Rain this afternoon, heavy and possibly thundery, then showers. Northerlies change southwest afternoon. 21C high, 12C overnight.

Tauranga

The odd shower. Rain this afternoon, heavy with possible squally thunderstorms, as northerlies change gusty westerly. 22C high, 13C overnight.

New Plymouth Rain, heavy falls with possible squally thunderstorms. Northwest change strong southwest. 20C high, 11C overnight.

Napier High cloud increasing. Rain from late afternoon, chance heavy, clearing evening. Gusty northerlies turning westerly at night. 23C high, 11C overnight.

Whanganui A few showers. Rain from afternoon, possibly heavy. Northerlies change westerly evening. 19C high, 12C overnight.

Wellington A few showers. Rain from around midday, possibly heavy. Strong northerly, changing strong southerly afternoon. 18C high, 11C overnight.

Nelson Rain. Strong northerlies easing in the morning, changing southwest by evening. 19C high, 10C overnight.

Christchurch A few showers, then clearing evening but remaining cloudy. Strong southerlies gradually easing. 15C high, 9C overnight.

Dunedin Mostly cloudy. A few showers clearing during the morning but returning at night. Southwesterlies. 15C high, 9C overnight.