Big storm in the Southern Ocean, big high to the north, NZ in the middle (+5 Maps)

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New Zealand is in an air pressure sandwich today with a big high moving towards the upper North Island at the same time as a big storm churns by well south of the lower South Island, nearer to Antarctica.

Weather Video: Mainly dry week but big low this weekend

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This week is dominated by westerly quarter winds for many regions, especially the South Island and lower North Island with high pressure somewhat controlling the weather across northern NZ.

Sunday: Two cold fronts, two islands + two Maps

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Two different cold fronts are today moving up each main island bring more rain to the western side of New Zealand but more mild and fairly sunny weather to many in the east.

Sunday's national forecast

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A cold front moves into the North Island today bringing some rain and showers from the west while conditions dry out for a time in the South Island's west ahead of the second cold front arriving later today.

Drier than normal trend for most of New Zealand next 7 days (+3 Maps)

2018 has had plenty of rain events with most regions actually wetter than average for this time of the year. Soil moisture maps indicate just a few dry spots (like around Taihape, Gisborne and between northern Auckland and Whangarei) but none of these dry areas are serious, although they may be limiting pasture growth a little lately.

Weather Video: A week of windy westerlies coming, but so too is more high pressure

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A high that stretches 7000kms across is likely to slink past New Zealand next week just to the north, encouraging more settled mild weather for northerners but revving up a westerly flow over the South Island bringing gales at times.

Big high covering NZ for Friday, slips away this weekend (+3 Maps)

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There's been a lot of sunny weather across large portions of New Zealand but the clouds are coming back in for many over Friday and the weekend. High pressure will still cover the country on Friday but by Saturday it shifts off the South Island and by Sunday it leaves the North Island.

Weather Video: Big high slips away this weekend then windy westerlies

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A big high covers all of New Zealand for today and Friday bringing light winds, mainly clear skies and mild afternoons.

It looks mainly dry for the next couple of days apart from a couple of isolated coastal showers in places like the north eastern North Island or the West Coast - otherwise dry though.

Calm rest of week but a wetter, windier, weekend (+4 Maps)

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High pressure will gradually become stronger over New Zealand today. Brisk winds of 15-20km/h are expected in some areas of the North Island but it will become calm across the day with light winds everywhere by overnight.

Weather Highlights:

Weather Video: Big beautiful high promises settled end to week but unsettled weekend

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The next few days will be calm, mainly dry and quite sunny across New Zealand thanks to a large high-pressure system moving in today and not leaving until about Saturday.

The high will eventually be pushed north of New Zealand by Sunday allowing a couple of cold fronts and some windier westerlies to come in.