Boxing Day promises more showers for most Christmas holidaymakers.

Much of the North and South Island will get at least the odd shower tomorrow but the South Island West Coast is the place to be - with sunny days forecast for the rest of the week, MetService said.

Meteorologist John Law said tomorrow afternoon was "the key time" to watch out for showers in most places.

Auckland and Northland could expect further showers today and a mixture of sunny spells and showers tomorrow. Auckland would be mostly dry tomorrow afternoon, with showers mostly confined to the morning and evening.


The Bay of Islands would see only the odd shower, and the Coromandel Peninsula would get the odd shower today, with "some nice spells of sunshine'' and isolated showers tomorrow, Mr Law said.

Tauranga had a chance of a few more showers today, but the Central Plateau and Rotorua would be the area most likely to see heavier showers tomorrow.

"The odd rumble of thunder is not out of the question.

"We could find a few showers come through and some of those could be on the sharp side."

Napier was one of the warmer spots to be on Christmas Day, but tomorrow would bring a southerly push with scattered showers around Napier and Hastings.

Gisborne would receive the occasional drop in the morning, but showers would increase later in the day.

New Plymouth would get a "a mixture of brightness and sunshine but as we head to the afternoon [there are] some showers to contend with'".

Gale force winds in Wellington had died down today, but a southerly later today would bring more showers.

In the South Island, an area of low pressure off the east coast was feeding cloud into Canterbury, Otago and up towards Marlborough.

"[Tomorrow] is going to be a cloudy and wetter day on the eastern side of the South Island," Mr Law said

In contrast the West Coast "might do very nicely" for Boxing Day, with fine, dry weather extending into the weekend.

Most other centres still have a risk of showers or steady rain through to Sunday.

Mr Law said another trough would cross the country next Monday which could bring more showers.

However only time would tell whether New Year would bring wet weather, as it was too far off to make an accurate forecast, he said.

Farmers are rejoicing at the Christmas rain, even though holidaymakers might not share their enthusiasm.

Federated Farmers' Adverse Events spokeswoman Katie Milne said Santa delivered farmers the best present of all this year.

"I admit what's good for us farmers may not be great for those in a tent, but every raindrop pushes back the prospect of drought."

The rain would give farmers an excuse to take a break from the farm and spend time with their families, she said.


Auckland: Today (Christmas Day) a few showers and southwesterlies with a high of 22C. Winds easing tomorrow but more showers expected with a high of 21C.

Hamilton: Occasional showers, southwesterlies and a high of 21C today. Showers clearing towards evening tomorrow and winds dying out, a high of 20C.

Wellington: Fine with northerlies and a high of 22C today, but a southerly change brings showers this evening. Showers and a fresh southerly for tomorrow with a high of 18C.

Christchurch: Showers this afternoon with southwest winds becoming stronger - a high of 23C. Winds turn southeast tomorrow with cloud and occasional rain. A high of 19C.

Dunedin: Cloudy, southwest winds and occasional rain today with a high of 16C. Rain easing to drizzle tomorrow and winds changing to easterly, with a high of 16C.