Heavy rain, gusts, hail forecast

A severe weather watch is in place with heavy rain expected to hit most of the North Island tonight and over the next two days.

The watch is in place for Wellington, Wairarapa, Taranaki and most of the central North Island.

"It's going to be damp and muggy and wet," MetService forecaster John Law said.

Although Wellington would get spells of rain from tonight, the central North Island would get the brunt of the weather with heavy thundery downpours, strong gusts and hail possible in areas north of Wairarapa and Manawatu.

Law said temperatures would remain steady tomorrow and Wednesday with temperatures likely to hover around 19 degrees Celsius in Wellington and up to 24C in the Wairarapa.

A complex trough of low pressure over the Tasman Sea is moving slowly towards the country directing the humid flow.

People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case any of the areas in the watch are upgraded to warning level.

The storm comes on the heels of weekend during which temperatures around the country climbed towards 30 degrees Celsius. Blenheim and Masterton reached 29C, while Wellington and Auckland recorded 26C. 

Further south, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown all made the early 20s.