Sweltering hot weather that has blanketed the country is expected to come to an abrupt end on Thursday, as a tropical cyclone heads toward New Zealand.
The Category One Tropical Cyclone Fehi formed near New Caledonia earlier on Monday.
It is expected to weaken and cross the South Island on Thursday, but holidaymakers, trampers and those in rural areas should be well aware of the potential for severe weather the cyclone could create, WeatherWatch says.
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"While the waters around New Zealand are warmer than average, they are not warmer where the storm is coming from, so we do expect it to weaken and lose tropical status, as it tracks south in the days ahead."
The warmer-than-usual waters around the country will help fuel the storm, and keep very heavy rain and winds going, as it approaches then western coastline and then crosses the country on Thursday.
As with any tropical storm, "nothing is locked in," WeatherWatch says.
The storm has little to block it, land or pressure-wise, as it tracks south toward New Zealand and is expected to curve around the western side of the large high that is currently over the country.
Depending on how the high moves will determine the precise tracking of the tropical low when it arrives, WeatherWatch says.
Thursday is expected to be a "very wet day" in many regions, but expected to clear on Friday.
Rain may linger longer in the North Island, as it breaks away from the low and gets slowed down by the high to the east, WeatherWatch says.
There is also a chance of flooding from the low and some wind damage, and seas are also expected to get rough in western areas later this week.