End to big dry in sight

There is a chance the wet weather expected to break the drought for parts of the North Island tomorrow and Tuesday will return by the end of the week, as forecasts hint at an end to the long dry conditions.

Auckland is set to be whipped with 90km/h winds and some areas may be pounded with up to 40mm of rain tomorrow [Mon] as the tropical low from the north Tasman Sea begins to move down the country.

But that's not all.

Another rain system has developed over Invercargill and looks likely to move north across the country, MetService meteorologist Liz Walsh said.

The low pressure system tracking south from the Tasman Sea is expected to pass over the North Island by Wednesday afternoon, before the wet weather from the south potentially brings more rain to the driest regions.

"The pattern has changed. We're in an autumn winter regime now," Ms Walsh said.

"Those large, big high pressures have disappeared for the most part.

"We're in the washing machine shoulder season where things are quite unsettled."

She said the washing machine season referred to the time of year when the weather was wet and unpredictable.

The low pressure system travelling down from the Tasman Sea is expected to move "quite quickly".

"If you're in Auckland today [Sunday] you'll have noticed the high cloud has increased and it's become overcast," Ms Walsh said.

"There won't be large thunderstorms. It's going to be more gloomy rain rather than thunderstorms."

Ms Walsh said the heaviest falls were expected in parts of Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel Peninsula, where up to 50mm is predicted.

"It's a bit of an unsettled start to the week," Ms Walsh said.

"[The models] are all telling the same story. We're becoming pretty sure that there's going to be some good rain."

WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Philip Duncan said he remained "somewhat conservative" about rainfall predictions, and said some farmers may not get "the rainfall totals they need".

However, WeatherWatch was "confident that all drought regions will receive some rain" from the "sizeable low".

The North Island is in the grips of an official drought following one of the driest summers in more than 50 years.

- Kieran Campbell of APNZ

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