By 3 News online staff
A ridge of high pressure is about to provide some relief from the Antarctic blast battering the country but frosty mornings are still forecast for most areas this weekend.
"Fine days but cold starts is the story for the weekend," says MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr.
The high pressure is moving in from the Tasman Sea, with rain in many parts of the country clearing today to make way for fine and clean conditions, says Mr Kerr.
Showers will linger over the east coast of the North Island around Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne tonight, before dying away over the weekend.
The Whanganui area will be one of the few places in the country where light showers are forecast over the weekend.
"The Bay of Plenty will be the spot to be, there'll be some cool starts but they'll have the finest weather for the longest time over the weekend," says Mr Kerr.
The north of the country will see the highest temperatures, with places like Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Paihea, Tauranga and Whitianga forecast to hit 12-13degC, while places in the centre and south of the country "will struggle to get into double figures over the course of the weekend".
The coldest place is expected to be Hanmer Springs, where the mercury is forecast to dip to minus 12degC.
The dry conditions mean only a few slight flurries of snow at sea level are to be expected but settled winds mean conditions at ski fields on both islands will be good.
The high will linger through Monday and into the early part of next week, before a northerly flow develops on Tuesday or Wednesday, which will bring wetter conditions across much of the country.
Despite the rain, the new week will bring a warmer air flow and some relief from the colder temperatures.