New Zealanders who skipped a Christmas break in order to take holidays in the heat of February might be feeling miffed today: rain and thunder storms are sweeping the country.
Auckland woke to a soaking, and bad weather is predicted throughout the rest of the country over the coming days.
Heavy rains are expected to move into the northern and western parts of the country, with strong northwesterly winds to proceed them, MetService said.
This could bring significant amounts of rain, with rising rivers, slips and surface flooding possible.
Marlborough, Nelson, Buller, Westland, Fiordland, Canterbury, Otago and Southland could all get bouts of heavy, thundery rain with localised torrential falls. Persistent rain was expected for Otago and Southland this afternoon or evening, with rain easing in inland areas and Hokitika later today.
The northern half of the North Island, from Taranaki and Taihape northwards, including Bay of Plenty, may get heavy rain from this evening, with the remainder of the North Island overcast. Local downpours are possible.
Low fronts from the Tasmania Seas will move over the South Island today, and over the North Island on Thursday, turning northwesterly.
If the wet wasn't enough, cooler weather is expected later in the week as a southerly front moves north over the country.