Heatwave leftovers heading our way

03:35, Jan 19 2013

New Zealand is set to feel the heat as a high moves across the Tasman, but it won't bring the full force of Sydney's record breaking heat.

The Australian city saw the mercury soar past 45 degrees Celsius yesterday, the hottest temperature ever experience there.

While temperatures here would also rise, it would be more bearable, MetService meteorologist Liz Walsh said.

''There's an improving trend, a high from the west in the Tasman is due to move across the country on Monday and Tuesday.

''But given our location, the fact we're surrounded by water and we're not a big continent like Australia means we won't be getting those extreme highs.''

Things were expected to pick up on Monday and result in a fine week through most of the country, especially the North Island.

The heatwave was slow to hit due to a cold front creeping up from the South Island and wouldn't move in properly until Tuesday.

By Wednesday Aucklanders were expected to enjoy 25C, Napier 28C and Christchurch would see a generous 30C.

''We will have a few settled days next week, it will be mainly fine in the North Island,'' Walsh said.

Until then, showers were expected in the west of the North Island today while the South Island was set to get thunder and lightning.

Heavy rain in the lower South Island was forecast to ease by midday, but warnings were still in place for water levels in streams and rivers.

MetService said a front over the South Island this morning would bring around 20 to 30mm of rain to Fiordland.

While this was not an exceptional amount of rain for the area, it was still a concern for trampers, it said.

A front over Fiordland was expected to trigger thunderstorms in the area, and it was expected to lie over the top of the South Island by tonight.

Northern Westland and Buller have a low risk of thunderstorms and heavy rain during the afternoon and evening.

Lightning storms were expected in North Canterbury, Kaikoura, and Marlborough this afternoon, as well as patchy light rain.