Sunday's national forecast - A cold front sweeps over NZ

Heavy rain moves up NZ today with heaviest falls on the West Coast and heavy snow in the mountains. Out to the east most places are fairly dry.

Over 200mm coming for the West Coast next 3 days, heavy snow ups avalanche risk (+2 Maps)

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A number of fronts and a westerly surge is arriving from south eastern Australia and it will bring heavy rain to NZ's West Coast which will form as heavy snow higher up.

Over 200mm is forecast for parts of the West Coast over just the next few days.

In the depths of winter parts of NZ will be 20C on Saturday, some places 8C above normal (+Maps)

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The westerlies are blowing across NZ now and even if cold today where you are the general trend is for much warmer than normal weather for this time of year.

Your weekend weather in Maps (+ Rain & Snowfall accumulation maps)

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A new phase of westerly weather is about to move in to New Zealand bringing rain, gales, warmth, cold, snow and sun. Sounds more like spring or autumn than the depths of winter.

Windier weather slowly builds up this weekend and by Sunday will properly cover the country.

VIDEO: Windy westerlies and several cold fronts coming to NZ

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It’s warmer than it should be for the depths of winter and that warmer pattern continues for a few more days in most regions.

This weekend we start to get the main surge of westerly winds which are likely to linger for a week, or longer, in the NZ area.

VIDEO: NZ - Strong winds, heavy rain, heavy snow and plenty of sun, dry and warmth

Talk about everything being thrown at us over the next week as a westerly surge flares up over NZ bringing a real spring/autumn like variety of weather.

Windier weather kicks in on Friday but peaks from this Sunday to next Wednesday.

NZ windier from Sunday to next Wednesday (+3 Maps)

A surge of westerly winds is about to cross New Zealand with gustier conditions from this Sunday through until about next Wednesday in some parts, especially the North Island.

The westerly flow may see gale force winds for a time, in the usual exposed areas like Cook Strait and maybe coastal parts of Auckland too, but generally winds are below damaging and gale threshold.

200+ mm coming for the West Coast, a couple showers only for the east coast (+2 Maps)

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We have a number of fronts coming in to New Zealand over the next week and the West Coast is most exposed with rainfall totals quite high over the four days ahead.

Over 200mm is forecast between now and the end of Sunday on some parts of the West Coast, while further north into the North Island the totals are much lower, between 15mm and 60mm over the next four days.

Winter is 'spluttering' and time is running out for true winter to kick in (+2 Maps)

NZ may have already reached peak winter. We're now in the second week of July and in a couple more weeks you'll notice the growing daylight hours. The long range forecast supports at least two weeks of mostly westerlies, which takes us basically to August.

Video: Warmer westerlies about to move in for many regions, some snow next week

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We’re entering a warmer phase of weather in many parts of NZ, one that may linger for another 14 days. says the new westerly flow, which kicks in properly over the next 24 hours, will lift temperatures above normal in many places.