Don't put out the washing - downpours due in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga tonight

MetService says wet weather is in store for much of the country this week, with a front moving in from the west this afternoon.

Western and northern areas of the country will receive the first of the rain this afternoon and overnight, and MetService has issued Heavy Rain Watches for Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Nelson and Fiordland.

Auckland should see the worst of the rain between 10pm tonight and about 2am, with a heavy downpours totalling up to 34mm in those hours.

The front will then hit Hamilton and Tauranga between 2am and 4am tomorrow, with heavy downpours expected.

Strong winds are expected across the Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions from Tuesday evening, with speeds approaching severe gale force in exposed places.

For a full forecast for your region, see our weather section here.

Flax plant against stormy day background in Auckland, Sky tower in background.
Stormy day over Auckland (file picture). Source: