Aucklanders sick of fighting with umbrellas are in for some bad news - more rain is forecast.

The first six months of the year have been the driest on record, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

But August has bucked the trend, with 16 wet days recorded this month already. The average for the entire month is 14, Niwa said.

Today will bring a bit of respite for those in Auckland and much of the country; with fine weather conditions forecast for most areas.

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A high of 13C is expected in the City of Sails and an overnight low of 8C is on the cards.

There is, however, a chance of showers north of the city before clouds come in later this evening.

It was a chilly night and early morning for many areas, including parts of the North Island.

MetService meteorologist Sarah Haddon said the coldest populated area early this morning - just before dawn, which is the coldest time, she said - was Alexandra, in
Central Otago.

A teeth-shattering -5C was recorded there about 6.45am. Dunedin was the second coldest place at -4.5C.

Those in Auckland were in for a cold wake-up call, with 3C recorded early today; while those in Wellington and Christchurch were in for 1C and -1C, respectively.

"Overall, it's fine for most of the country - it's sunny skies,'' Haddon said.

WET AND WINDY FOR MANY FROM TUESDAY A ridge is currently bringing clear skies to much of Aotearoa for today and...

Posted by MetService New Zealand on Saturday, 17 August 2019

A northerly airflow set to gradually increase today and tomorrow morning would bring somewhat warmer temperatures, she said.

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However, rain is also in the forecast.

The warmest place recorded early today was in Whangārei, which saw 12C.

Haddon said much of Northland and parts of the east coast - including Gisborne - had temperatures ranging between 10C to 12C.

"Northland has had cloud overnight, so it kind of acts as a blanket."

Wet and windy conditions ahead

The MetService has issued a severe weather outlook for the next few days - with an active front set to move east across the country from the Tasman Sea tomorrow.

A slow-moving low pressure system is then expected to come in on Wednesday through to Friday.

"These weather systems are expected to bring rain to many parts of the country, with the heaviest falls about the western regions of the South Island and central and southern districts of the North Island," MetService said.

There is moderate confidence of "warning amounts" of rain in Westland and Fiordland tomorrow and then again in Westland on Wednesday and Thursday.

"The risk for warning amounts of rain in northwest Nelson is low on Tuesday - then again on Wednesday and the risk area extending south across of all of Buller, with the risk increasing to moderate on Thursday.

As well as heavy rains predicted, there is moderate confidence of severe north to northeast gales affecting inland parts of Marlborough, the Canterbury High Country, the Otago Lakes, Westland and Fiordland.

TODAY'S FORECAST:
- Kaitaia: 15C high, 8C overnight low. Cloudy periods, chance of shower.
- Tauranga: 13C, 8C. Mainly fine, but evening cloud and chance of shower tonight.
- Auckland: 13C, 8C. Fine apart from chance of shower north of the city. Cloudy this evening.
- Hamilton: 13C, 4C. Fine morning with early frosts, then cloudy periods.
- Napier: 13C, 0C. Cloudy periods. Chance of light morning shower.

- New Plymouth: 12C, 5C. Fine. A frosty start and light winds.

- Wellington: 11C, 6C. Fine with morning frosts. Light winds early this morning.
- Nelson: 11C, 2C. Fine with morning frosts. Northerlies developing in the afternoon.
- Christchurch: 12C, -1C. Fine with morning frosts. Northeasterlies strengthening.
- Queenstown: 10C, 1C. Fine with morning frosts, but high cloud increasing.
- Invercargill: 12C, 3C. Fine with frosts at first, but high cloud increasing.