The fridge door will be left open on Christmas Day
MetService says that while Christmas Day is shaping up to be mostly fine and warm across northern and central New Zealand, southerly winds are forecast to bring unsettled and cooler conditions farther south.
These cold southerlies spread over the remainder of the country during the weekend, bringing rain or showers to eastern areas, and unseasonably cold temperatures to southern and central New Zealand.
"As we approach Christmas, a trough of low pressure moves across the country today (Wednesday) and Thursday, bringing rain to much of southern and central New Zealand, plus a period of strong northerly winds to exposed parts of central New Zealand.
"Severe Weather Warnings and Watches remain in force and can be viewed here."
Although northern New Zealand is expected to be rather cloudy and will get some rain or showers in the lead-up to Christmas, temperatures will remain warm with many places reaching into the mid-twenties.
“For most of us the weather leading up to Christmas Day is not ideal for completing that final bit of gardening or tidying up outdoors, and folk with kids on holiday will need to plan some indoor activities," says MetService Meteorologist Peter Little.
A south to southwest flow covers much of the country on Christmas Day, with generally settled and warm weather forecast for northern and central New Zealand.
However, another trough moves onto southern New Zealand from the Tasman Sea, bringing showers and cooler temperatures, especially to eastern areas.
For Christmas Day, mostly sunny skies are forecast for Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, with daytime temperatures reaching into the early to mid-twenties.
However, the southwesterly breeze will be noticeable in exposed places, especially in Auckland. Cloudy periods, dying southerly winds and a high of 19°C are forecast for Wellington.
For Christchurch and Dunedin, expect skies to be mostly cloudy with a few showers, and the easterly breeze keeps the high to just 16°C.
“Although the forecast is dry for much of the country on Christmas Day, there will be some places that get rain or showers, especially in the south. If you’re planning on having your Christmas meal outdoors it would be wise to consult your forecast on metservice.com to see whether you need a back-up plan."
On Boxing Day the trough moves over the remainder of the country, followed by cooler southerly winds. These southerlies bring rain or showers to mainly eastern areas over the weekend, and unseasonably cold temperatures to many places.
“Snow is forecast down to 1000 metres over the South Island this weekend, and a maximum temperature of just 13°C is forecast for Ashburton on Saturday, which is around 8°C below average for this time of year. In the Capital, a chilly 14°C high and strong southerlies are forecast for Sunday,” adds Little.
"Hopefully the conditions won’t ruin your plans over the coming days, but whatever the weather, all of us at MetService wish you a safe and Merry Christmas."