Weather: 'Month's worth of rain' could fall in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne this weekend

MetService is warning of "potentially significant weather" coming New Zealand's way as a low-pressure system could bring long periods of rain to eastern parts of the North Island from Sunday.

While there's some uncertainty of where the low-pressure centre will sit late in the weekend, MetService says there are good indications this system will bring the potential of persistent rain with heavy falls.

"There's a risk that parts of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne will record a month's worth of rain between Sunday and Tuesday, and it potentially doesn't end there," says MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris.

"This amount of rain would cause disruption and if models keep on the current track, then expert meteorologists at MetService will be issuing severe weather forecasts closer to the time."

Strong south to southeast winds are also forecast to accompany this rain, but these are more dependent on the position and depth of the low-pressure centre.

"This is a weather event to keep an eye on developments over the weekend as there is the possibility other regions could be impacted as we move further into next week," Ferris says.

But before New Zealand gets this rain, there's a more typical frontal system moving up the West Coast on Friday that will bring heavy rain and strong northerly winds.

The ranges of Westland south of Otira have an orange warning for heavy rain in force between midday and midnight on Friday. Watches for heavy rain and strong winds are also in force for surrounding areas, MetService says.

But the front will hardly make an impact on the North Island and most places will see some settled weather between now and the end of the weekend.