31 Dec 2018

Clouds to roll in ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations

1:39 pm on 31 December 2018

Clouds will surround most of the country for New Year's celebrations tonight.

Quick view overhead Aotearoa on 31 December 2018.

Quick view overhead Aotearoa on 31 December 2018. Photo: Twitter / MetService

MetService says there's unlikely to be any extreme weather around the country, so it will be safe to head to the beach or have a BBQ on the deck.

Duty forecaster Tui McInnes said the best places to be were Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

He said there might be a few spits of rain, but it will stay mostly cloudy in Auckland - Wellington and Christchurch will also be overcast.

Mr McInnes said temperatures will be warm tomorrow, with some areas hitting nearly 30 degrees.

Read more on the planned celebrations tonight around the country here.

MetService said there was a high risk of thunderstorms in inland Hawke's Bay and Gisborne and also in the far east of Taihape, Taupo and Bay of Plenty during the afternoon and evening.

Heavy rain and possibly hail could also occur during the storm, with a moderate risk of severe localised downpours causing slips and localised flash flooding.

There's a moderate risk of thunderstorms in much of Fiordland and the far south of Westland.

Auckland is the first major city in the world to welcome in 2019.

Both the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge will be lit up and at midnight, there will be the annual fireworks display from the Tower.

Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin will host free, family-friendly events, with music, entertainment and fireworks.

In Gisborne, 21,000 revellers will be at the country's biggest multi-day music festival, Rhythm and Vines.