Windy wild Wednesday for many regions (+2 Wind Maps)

Wednesday is not the flashest days this week. About 70% of NZ will be colder than average while gales will impact the North Island and upper South Island.

It's all part of a rough spring set up this week which will see wintry weather spreading nationwide for a time, along with a surge of wind and rain - plus snow on the mountains. And in spring style it's warmer, sunnier, by Saturday.

VIDEO: Windy, unsettled, week ahead of Labour Weekend

It’s the countdown to Labour Weekend and the forecast this week is driven by windy westerlies which can swing cold SSW and mild NNW.

For the most part the week kicks off about normal temperaturewise but a colder change develops over Tuesday and Wednesday. Winds will be blustery across New Zealand with snow on the Southern Alps.

Sunday's national forecast

Westerly winds blow today across the country although they will be lighter in the north than they were yesterday but they are likely to strengthen a little more for areas further down NZ. 

5 day rainfall forecast + 3 day snowfall forecast

The westerlies are back and we have them blowing off and on basically for the rest of the month now. This pushes up rainfall totals in western areas and drops them in eastern areas.

It also makes for milder weather in the east, as we're seeing this weekend with highs into the low 20s for some.

Rain, snow and big waves - the outlook for the weekend (+4 Maps)

A low pressure system in the Tasman Sea will push rainfall totals up on the West Coast and help drive in big waves to the western side of both islands, in particular the western North Island.

Colder air around the Southern Alps will see snow falling there too.

VIDEO: Westerlies about to kick in and 3 lows will influence NZ's weather too

We have three lows which will affect New Zealand’s weather over the rest of October with westerly winds the main theme in the week or two ahead.

The first low arrives on Friday and brings heavy rain to the West Coast and mild but brisk nor’westers to other parts further north.

Westerlies to dominate rest of October, possible Labour Weekend blast too (+3 Maps)

Westerly quarter winds will dominate New Zealand for the rest of the month - but we do have at least three influential low pressure systems. says an uptick in high pressure north of NZ and over eastern Australia will help push westerly quarter winds over New Zealand, somtimes mild nor'westers or westerlies, other times colder sou'westers.

Upcoming Rain, snow and temperature trends next few days (+4 Maps)

Another low is about to affect NZ, this time it's a South Island event for the most part bringing a very wet end to the week on the West Coast - and it kicks off a number of days of western rain showers and gusty westerlies.

It means, generally speaking, most of New Zealand is warmer than average with the exception of Southland and Otago.

VIDEO: One low slowly departs, another low races back in

The low affecting the North Island brings more heavy rain and strong winds to some regions today but for others conditions do start to improve further.

Thursday is a breather day before the next low moves in, this time around the South Island and Cook Strait areas with heavy western rain and strong to gale W to NW winds.

North Island Low: Heavy eastern rain, strong western winds (+4 Maps)

More heavy rain is yet to fall over already drenched parts of the eastern North Island as a low with sub-tropical connections continues to slowly grind its way across the island.

The centre of the low spent most of yesterday stuck over the top of Northland. Today it's out over eastern Bay of Plenty and East Cape and that does two things: