Dig out the umbrellas again

22:55, Feb 16 2014

The north and east of the North Island look to be among the first parts of the country to say goodbye to the sunny, dry weather this week.

MetService is predicting patchy drizzle to develop around eastern areas of Northland, Coromandel and the Gisborne ranges today, spreading to other parts of those regions as well as Auckland and Bay of Plenty.

Rain is forecast each day for more than a week in those areas, which include some of the few places in the country where soil-moisture levels are about normal, or even a bit wetter than usual.

For Waikato, much of which is nearly as dry as it was this time last year when large swathes of the country were plunging into an extensive drought, the first chance of any rain looks to be Wednesday. Showers or rain are forecast each day for a week from then but the predictions get less certain beyond that.

Drizzle is predicted for Hawke's Bay from Wednesday, but rain does not show up on the forecast for further south in the North Island or for New Plymouth, until Friday, or even the weekend for the most-southerly places, including Wellington.

Christchurch is also predicted to stay dry to the weekend, with the temperature getting to 28 degrees Celsius today, 27C tomorrow, and 30C on Friday.

In contrast the bottom-southwest of the country looks to in for a drenching, with MetService predicting rain to become heavy this afternoon or evening in parts of Fiordland and Westland.

Rain or showers are predicted for Invercargill today and tomorrow, with the possibility of some overnight rain in Otago. Rain is forecast for the West Coast tomorrow.