Key Points:

There's no guarantee, but keep the option of wheeling the barbecue down to the beach open for Christmas Day.

Metservice forecaster Bob McDavitt said there is not enough satellite data to give any definite details - but the rain forecast for the west and central North Island will clear by Christmas Day.

"There's still a chance of a trough on Sunday and Monday but an anti-cyclone should clear that," Mr McDavitt said.

He said a heatwave in the south of the country could follow Christmas, according to early indications.

Father Christmas will be heading into a southerly wind on Christmas Eve which will hang around on Christmas morning across the country but the rain should stay away, he said.

Mr McDavitt said there could be a few wet stockings around the western parts of the country.

"And it's setting itself up for great surf in the northern end of the country," he said.

Some farmers in the east will get their present early with rain forecast for tomorrow.

For those in the west, rain will come later in the week but, again, it should clear for Christmas.

"And if the cold air gets in there, it will make a few heavy downpours but again it will be the central and western parts, not the east," He said.

Mr McDavitt said people driving on Christmas Eve should check an updated weather forecast because downpours could be possible in parts of the country.

While there's rain on the way today and it will hang around tomorrow, Metservice is forecasting a clear run into the weekend.

The website is predicting a cloudy but dry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Waikato is in for much of the same, according to Metservice, with a wet couple of days before fining up for the weekend.

The prediction from said Father Christmas could bring some scattered showers for Christmas Day.

The capital is also in for a shower or two before the skies clear at the weekend.

For Christmas Day, said it will be cloudy on Monday with a few showers on Christmas Day.

For Christchurch, there is more rain before blue skies on Saturday. This is followed by rain on Monday and scattered showers for Christmas, according to

Down south it will be clear until Thursday when there's a brief shower or two, followed by sunshine to the weekend.

For Christmas, said showers on Monday will ease for Christmas day but one or two could hang around.