Calm spell before stormy weekend

Most of the country is in for a fine but cold few days, before a low from the Tasman Sea spoils the weekend for many.

MetService meteorologist Nick Zachar said today's weather was fairly "benign", as a weakening cold front moved up the country.

The front was over Wellington this morning and would make it to New Plymouth by midday, bringing some showers and southerly winds with it.

Elsewhere a ridge of high pressure was beginning to spread, bringing a fine winter's day to most of the country.

However, while the cool front was lacking in severe weather, it had brought a lot of cold air with it.

"Tonight and tomorrow morning will be very cold across the country. From pretty much Hamilton south we can expect frosts and freezing temperatures."

On Friday a ridge of high pressure would cover most of New Zealand, bringing mostly settled weather.

On Saturday, however, a front would arrive from the Tasman Sea, affecting the lower west coast of the South Island, with potential for heavy rain in Fiordland and southern Westland.

In the North Island from late Saturday a strong, moist northeast flow would spread on to the upper areas, bringing rain and northeast gales to many places.

On Sunday, east and northeast winds could reach gale about Northland to East Cape and Waikato.

There could also be heavy rain about Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, and parts of Auckland.

On Monday this system would spread further over the North Island and central New Zealand, bringing potentially heavy rainfall over Gisborne, easternmost Bay of Plenty, and from Marlborough Sounds to northern Buller.

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