Weather forecast: Low set to move over NZ this weekend, rain on the way

Rain clouds are on the way back to the country including much of the North Island this weekend, as another low pressure system heads our way.

There are differences between this low and the low dubbed the 'Tasman Tempest' earlier this month. Firstly this low isn't as big. Secondly it's boxed in by two high pressure systems, something head forecaster Philip Duncan calls a "high pressure sandwich".

"This week a low will form near Sydney and drift towards New Zealand's West Coast and deepen a little. Over the weekend it drifts over New Zealand bringing periods of heavy rain and some windy areas".

"By the end of the weekend we'll have a high pressure sandwich - two highs on either side of the country with the 'filling' being a low pressure system".

But Mr Duncan says the rain won't be as widespread or persistent as it was earlier this month. "On top of the heavy rains we've just seen over the North Island any incoming low, no matter how mild, is worthy of attention in case of additional heavy rain falling in the same places".

The rain may be slow moving - but also fractured, meaning some areas may have prolonged heavy falls while others within the region or nearby may have long dry spells. Keep up to date with our rain maps for the weekend with a fine line between areas with rain and those with dry weather.

Southland is expected to be least affected by this low. says the low is likely to bring in more humidity to northern New Zealand for the rest of March.