A flurry of daffodils and lambs are just weeks away, with Niwa predicting spring weather will arrive right on time this year.

Northwesterly winds will bring warmer-than-average temperatures through till October, as well as frequent rainfall, according to the environmental research institute.

Forecaster Ben Noll said a changeable August was on the cards.

"That will be a theme over the next three months with rainfall most likely normal or above normal. That may be good news agriculturally with soil moisture normal or above normal, but it might not be great news for your tramp," Noll said.


The sodden east of the South Island is most likely to have normal rainfall through till October. It's still up in the air whether the rest of the country will get extra rain or will stay at normal levels.

The incredible wet weather seen earlier this year has broken records in some spots, while the Bay of Plenty had its wettest winter in a decade, according to council data.

Today the Bay was again hit with heavy rain, reaching up to 130mm in the eastern ranges. Heavy falls of up to 20mm/hr have fallen in the east for the last 3-4 hours, MetService said.

The rain has caused a major slip that's closed State Highway 2 between Opotiki and Gisborne. The slip is at the Waioeka Gorge, around 36km from Opotiki.

The NZ Transport Agency asked people to avoid the area or find an alternative route. Geotechnical engineers would be assessing the site tomorrow.

A severe weather warning is still in place in the eastern Bay of Plenty with another 20-30mm to fall about the ranges in the three hours till midnight.

Heavy rain warnings have now been lifted for Tongariro, Nelson and the western Bay of Plenty. The warnings have also been lifted for Taranaki, which has seen rainfalls of 90 - 150mm over the past 30 hours.

MetService meteorologist Heath Gullery said some of the upper slopes of Mt Taranaki had had 150-220mm of rain.

The rain is just starting to ease in the eastern Bay of Plenty as the front gets set to move off the country, Gullery said.

But tomorrow will still be unsettled in central and northern New Zealand.

"There's fairly heavy showers from the Western [Ranges] up to Northland and Auckland, and across to Taupo and the Bay of Plenty for most of tomorrow," Gullery said.

"Some of it will be heavy, with hail and a risk of thunderstorms around Auckland and down to Taranaki. It'll be very unsettled."

The best weather tomorrow would be around the east of the South Island, he added.