A moist northwesterly flow lies over New Zealand today, bringing heavy rain to the West Coast in the South and cloud for much of the North.
A severe weather warning is in place for northern Fiordland and southern Westland, with some heavy falls and possible thunderstorms forecast.
The warning is currently in place until 9am this morning, with 90 to 120mm of rain expected. A heavy rain watch for Westland, south of Bruce Bay, is also in affect until 11am.
WeatherWatch predicts morning cloud for Northland through to the Bay Of Plenty, however, this will break for a mostly sunny afternoon, with west to southwesterly winds.
Morning cloud will also fall over the lower western North Island - from Taranaki through to Kāpiti, with a chance of a shower then afternoon sunny spells and west to northwesterly winds.
Heavy rain Warning Issued for Fiordland Ranges. A Watch is also in place for parts of Westland. ^RK https://t.co/pXjuesy4ec— MetService (@MetService) January 1, 2019
It will be mostly sunny for the east coast with northwesterlies. An afternoon sea breeze may develop for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.
The afternoon temperatures should sit in the mid-20s across most of the North Island today, and the late 20s for some parts of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.
Despite the rain on the West Coast, WeatherWatch has forecast a mainly sunny and hot day for Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury.
It will also be mostly sunny for Otago and Southland, with some afternoon cloud possible, with winds for most South Island regions coming from the west or northwest.
Afternoon temperatures will be in the late 20s or early 30s for Central Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson. The West Coast, Southland and the rest of Otago sees temperatures in the low to mid 20s.
Looking ahead, MetService predicts that westerlies will cover much of New Zealand tomorrow, with a weakening front expected to move northeast over the country during Thursday and early Friday.
This front is expected to bring patchy rain or showers to western areas, with gusty westerly winds in exposed places.
There is a moderate risk of severe gales about central Hawke's Bay, Tararua District and northern parts of the Wairarapa tomorrow.
A ridge of high pressure follows this front on Friday, with the westerlies returning to the South Island and lower North Island on Saturday ahead of another front, which is currently forecast to reach the lower South Island Saturday night.
This front then becomes slow moving on Sunday with the moist northwesterlies strengthening.
Periods of rain are expected about the lower South Island from late Saturday to Sunday, with a moderate risk that rainfall accumulations may approach warning amounts about Fiordland and south Westland.
Northwesterlies are expected to become gusty about eastern parts of the South Island and lower North Island on Saturday, with gales in exposed places on Sunday, with a low risk of severe gales about eastern and southern Fiordland, Southland, Clutha, Otago and Canterbury, also the Wairarapa and the Tararua District.
Fine, apart from cloud and possible drizzle morning and night. Southwest breezes. High 26C / Low 16C.
Auckland: Cloud and possible drizzle morning and evening, but long sunny spells this afternoon. Southwest breezes. High 24C / Low 18C.
Tauranga: A fine and sunny day. Westerly breezes. High 28C / Low 17C.
Hamilton: Morning cloud, then fine, but clouding over again in the evening. Westerly breezes. High 26C / Low 15C.
New Plymouth: Morning cloud and possibly drizzle, then fine until cloud returns evening. Westerlies. High 22C / Low 17C.
Napier: Fine. Light winds and sea breezes. High 30C / Low 17C.
Wellington: A fine day. Some cloud this evening. Strong northerlies. High 23C / Low 18C.
Nelson: Fine. Light winds. High 27C / Low 18C.
Christchurch: Mainly fine. High cloud from afternoon as northerly tends northwest. High 31C / Low 14C.
Dunedin: High cloud at times, and the chance of a shower or two from late morning. Northwest turns southwest. High 25C / Low 14C.