Weather: Wind, rain on the way for South Island but hot, fine conditions remain for North Island

Just as people were getting used to the hot temperatures and the summer weather in the South Island, it's set to end with rain and strong wind on the way over the coming days.   

But it's good news for people on the North Island with the summer weather expected to stick around for the rest of the week.   

The severe weather outlook by MetService shows a ridge of high pressure covering the country is expected to move slowly east on Wednesday, allowing a strengthening northerly flow to spread over the South Island.   

A front is expected to approach the South Island later on Wednesday and MetService said there is "moderate confidence" of severe north to northwest gales about Fiordland and Southland.

The front is then expected to reach the lower South Island and become slow moving for a time, with rain expected in Fiordland and South Westland on Thursday, with MetService warning there is "moderate confidence" rainfall amounts reaching warning criteria.   

"In addition, strong northwest winds are expected over the South Island and lower North Island, with low confidence of severe gales about Southland and Fiordland at first," MetService said in its severe weather outlook for Thursday.   

But while there could be rain, MetService said eastern parts of the South Island will have warm temperatures on Thursday.   

Meteorologist Ngaire Wotherspoon said temperatures around the country are still expected to be hot for the rest of the week with most places in the mid to high 20s, with some even reaching the 30s 

Wotherspoon said temperatures around the country are largely above average for this time of year and that is expected to continue.   

"As the front moves up the South Island, we get the foehn effect coming across, so eastern areas like Otago, especially Canterbury, we'll get that really hot dry northwesterly flow happening," she told Newshub.   

"We're looking at temperatures reaching above 30 for most of Canterbury, 32 for Christchurch and Ashburton on Thursday." 

But while the temperatures might be warm, the bad weather doesn't end there for parts of the South Island - with MetService warning a more active front will approach the lower half of the island on Saturday.  

"Rain or showers are expected about western parts of the South Island with a low confidence of heavy rain about Fiordland," MetService said in its severe weather outlook for Saturday.   

"Strengthening northwesterlies about the South Island, with low confidence of severe gales about Otago, Southland and southern parts of Fiordland."   

Wotherspoon told Newshub she expects a few weather watches to be issued this week as the front moves over parts of the South Island and she warned the bad weather will really start to affect large parts of New Zealand this weekend.  

"We've got another front coming in from the south on Saturday afternoon and that will make it halfway up the South Island on Saturday and then keep moving forward on Sunday while we also get a low-pressure system coming in from the northwest that will affect the North Island," she said. "So it's looking like a quite fine week for most of the country but then the weekend things will start to pack."  

But while the South Island will get some bad weather due to that front, people in the North Island should be basked in sunshine as a slow moving ridge remains over the island all week, according to MetService.  

Looking at the weather for the rest of the week for the main centres, Auckland and Tauranga can expect temperatures between 25 and 27C with no rain forecast until Sunday.   

Further south in Hamilton, temperatures are expected to be 26C on Tuesday before heating from Wednesday for the rest of the week with highs of 27C or 28C expected. The city should also see no rain until Sunday.   

In the South Island, Christchurch is expected to see a perfect rest of the week, highlighted by a temperature of 32C on Thursday and 30C on Saturday and Sunday. The Garden City is only forecast to see one day of rain - on Monday - until Thursday next week.   

Dunedin is expected to have the worst weather of the big cities with rain expected on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, but should still have warm temperatures with a high of 28C expected on Thursday.