Weather: New Zealand set for a hot, dry next two weeks

The country's driest regions are bracing for an "extreme" fire risk due to a lack of rainfall.

A high pressure system currently expanding over New Zealand will stick around for the next two weeks, according to Weather Watch.

"Rainfall totals will be extremely low for most of the North Island, the upper South Island and some eastern parts of the South Island."

Much of the country will see just 0.2mm to 5mm of rain in the next week or two, with Fiordland and South Westland expecting the most rain. Southland, Otago and North Westland will get some spillover, but there's no such relief in sight for the rest of the country.

The driest regions, including the East Coast of the South Island, are going to dry up even more as no rain is expected until the middle of March.

Drought has officially been declared in Nelson and far western Marlborough, as well as Buller District, Tasman, Taranaki and the far north.

Weather Watch reports that the eastern North Island will see a few light showers this week, but otherwise it's a dry early March there as well. It will get even hotter next week, with temperatures rising into the mid to late 20s for much of the North Island.

"This will make fire risks Extreme in many areas," Weather Watch says.

Those praying for rain will have to wait another couple of weeks until the high pressure system lifts, hopefully bringing some much-needed moisture back to the country after a hot, dry summer.