Rain forecast for dry Waikato

A warm front associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone June is expected to bring decent amounts of rain to large areas of the North Island which have been drying out rapidly.

Niwa data shows soil moisture levels are drier than normal for this time of year across nearly all the North Island.

Much of Northland, Auckland, Waikato, The Central Plateau, and the east coast of the lower North Island are as dry as they were at this time a year ago, when the country was heading into one of its worst droughts in a century.

MetService is forecasting some relief, with rain expected to spread south across the northern half of the North Island today.

Rain is expected across much of the North Island tomorrow, with possible heavy falls in Bay of Plenty, and across from Wairarapa and

Wellington to Taranaki, while rain or drizzle is expected in many parts of the South Island.

Today's rain is from a warm front, carrying large amounts of moisture, ahead of the remains of Tropical Cyclone June, MetService meteorologist Liz Walsh said.

Speaking about 7.30am, she said the front was crossing Northland and Auckland.

The warm front had "lots of moisture, bringing down humid warm air full or rain".

"It's going to be wet for a while," she said.

Early this morning the deep low that was formerly Tropical Cyclone June was still 600 kilometres to 800km off Northland, and moving only slowly towards this country.

When the low moved onto the country tomorrow, strong winds were possible for four to five hours in Northland and Auckland.

"Possibly for Northland and Auckland the winds will be damaging," Walsh said. "We're looking at gales in exposed places of 100kmh."

Some strong winds could also affect the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.