Southerly change no drought-breaker

As a southerly flow takes grip of New Zealand, cloud and drizzle are beginning to creep up the country, but it won't be enough to break the drought gripping many parts of the country.

Temperatures are expected to drop in most areas and heavy rainfall is forecast for some over the next couple of days.

MetService has predicted drizzle and, at times, heavy and thundery showers to fall in most places in the South Island.

Low cloud should begin to settle over the North Island tomorrow and turn to drizzle overnight, but forecaster Richard Finnie said it would be hard to say if the rain would make a significant difference to drought-stricken areas.

"A front will move over the South Island from Wednesday and across the North Island on Thursday," he said.

"That will be followed by another front on Friday and Saturday."

He said for eastern areas of the North Island, the best chance at decent rain would be on Saturday.

"Rain is expected in most places at some point throughout the week, and temperatures will get cooler as the southerly flow comes through," he said.

From tomorrow, cloud was expected to increase with isolated showers in the North Island, but it would remain fine in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

Early rain would develop in Taranaki, Kapiti Coast, and Wellington on Wednesday evening.

MetService said rain would be confined to the east and south of New Zealand on Friday and Saturday.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has already said the rain was unlikely to break the drought, which still grips the entire North Island as well as the Buller and Grey districts in the south.

But it would be a welcome start for northern farmers, many of whom are now relying on feed shipped up from the South Island.

Finnie said another high would move back over New Zealand from Sunday and would take a few days to settle in.