Windy and unsettled weather ahead

Windy weather will batter parts of the country, with severe gales expected in the lower South Island today.

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said there was a fast-moving front bringing windy conditions across the southern half of New Zealand over the couple of days.

Gales could be severe in Fiordland, Southland, Clutha and inland Canterbury tomorrow morning, and a cold southwesterly flow was also bringing snow to low levels in the far south.

"We're looking at gusts of 150 kmh in the period between midnight Monday and 6am Tuesday. Gusts of this strength can blow roofs off houses, bring down power lines, break large branches off trees and blow vehicles off roads," Corbett said.

In the lower North Island, northwesterly gales were expected near Marlborough Sounds, Wellington and Wairarapa tomorrow, before easing on Wednesday morning.

Today, showers, briefly heavy and possibly thundery, were expected from Northland to Kapiti, while in the Bay of Plenty there would be morning rain and afternoon showers.

Nelson was also expecting showers, heavy at times, before clearing this afternoon, while thundery rain was forecast for Fiordland and Westland tonight.

"It's going to be windy and unsettled for the first part of the week, but then it just gets a bit quiet as a high comes in across the North Island beyond Wednesday," Corbett said.

"It gets better and brighter towards the end of the week."

Corbett said most of New Zealand should look forward to Friday.

"If I was looking at the calendar this week, I'd probably put a tick on Friday and say 'that looks like a nice day'.

"All the other days are going to be breezy or wet in many places," he said.