Auckland's dry spell ends with major downpour

Auckland's longest dry spell on record has finally broken.

Rain started falling in Auckland this morning, the first time there's been more than 1mm of rain in 47 days.

Metservice meteorologist Andy Best said there was 7mm in Lincoln Park in Massey, 8.8mm in the Waitakere Ranges and 12mm at Piha this morning.

"The front is expected to move just to the east of Auckland this afternoon and then away this evening," he said.

"Just the fact that rain has fallen in excess of 1mm, making it a 'rain day' officially, doesn't mean we've had enough, by any means."

Shortly after RNZ spoke to Best, the rain started pouring even heavier than before.

According to Niwa's New Zealand Drought Index, severe meteorological drought is widespread across Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato.

Meteorological drought has also emerged in northern Gisborne and northern Canterbury. Much of the rest of the country is also unusually dry, except for the western and lower South Island.