Weather: Western parts of South Island under heavy rain watch, Hawke’s Bay close to reaching heatwave criteria

Parts of the country are under a heavy rain watch over the next few days, with the Metservice saying it'll be a wet start to the week for New Zealanders. 

The fronts coming from the Tasman Sea will bring unsettled weather over the coming days, with western parts of the South Island expected to get heavy rain from Monday night. 

"Parts of Westland and Fiordland are under Heavy Rain Watches or Warnings," MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane says. "There's a good chance heavy rain will make it over into the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago lakes and rivers as well."

The unsettled weather to start the week could see thunderstorms for the western part of the North and South Island. 

"Some of those could be accompanied by sudden gusty and squally conditions, so people are advised to take extra care," Makgabutlane says.

Even with the chance of bad weather, temperatures are still expected to be high - with northwest winds playing a role in keeping the temperatures up. 

Hawke's Bay is expected to have some of the hottest temperatures this week. This comes after the region got above 30C last week, with the Metservice saying it's close to reaching the heatwave criteria.  

"We're keeping a close eye on temperatures in the Hawke's Bay," Makgabutlane says.

"A heatwave is experienced when a place has five consecutive days where temperatures are at least 5C warmer than its average maximum for that month. 

"Napier is forecast to reach 28C this afternoon [Monday] and 27C tomorrow [Tuesday]."

The Metservice says the bad weather should pass, bringing mostly fine weather for later in the week. 

"A ridge of high pressure on Thursday flips the switch on the weather, bringing a general easing trend to the latter half of the week for most," Makgabutlane says.

"Things will also be a touch cooler as a southwesterly wind change freshens what has been a muggy atmosphere."