Golden summer forecast, and it could be one for the record books.

It's time to pull out the togs and slap on the sunscreen - a golden summer awaits New Zealand.

After much of the country had been bathed in sunshine for most of last week, the wet and windy weather returned on Friday. But things are set to improve again next week and beyond as Kiwis get set for the festive season, says WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan.

"With a weak La Nina now in force it may become a little more noticeable in December as the traditional spring westerlies start to fade back a bit and La Nina's more typical east to northeast winds move in more often.

"The first day of December may well see easterlies in a number of areas and mostly settled conditions."


The first week of December will be similar to the last week of November and will be a bit unsettled but with still a mix of sunny warm days, Duncan said.

"In fact, the first part of December looks generally mild with average to above average temperatures possible in the north and east."

He does sound a warning though - summer is set to be humid in the north. Friday was a particularly humid day, with Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Whangarei all at 96-99 per cent humidity, with temperatures in the low 20Cs.

Weather analysts are also tracking the high-pressure systems which, for the most part of spring, have been to the north of the country feeding in nor'westers.

As we go through December these highs may sink further and further south across New Zealand bringing more settled and dry weather to the South Island. This southwards shift in high pressure means northerners may see an uptick in easterlies, Duncan said.

More good news is Christmas Day looks like being a scorcher for most places in the North Island.

And if La Nina strengthens, those holidaying in Queenstown could be in for a scorcher. especially if it strengthens, can suddenly bring very hot and dry weather to Queenstown.

"Despite La Nina creating more easterlies generally, the heat records broken in New Zealand already across 2016 indicate if we get a nor'west event out of Australia it could see eastern areas perhaps challenging the record books for the highest ever temperature recorded," Duncan added.


• Holiday spot favourite the Bay of Islands will have few southerly events and plenty of northerlies and easterlies, meaning a higher chance for a hot Christmas Day and summer, but with a risk of tropical downpours.

• In Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, plenty of warm to hot days with winds from the northerly quarter, perhaps shifting more easterly, are expected.

"If it rains it may well be a bit more tropical and heavier but it will not be raining every day, we will see plenty of hot, dry days too," Duncan said.

• After downpours, heat showers can become common in a La Nina summer, but generally speaking a hot December and summer on the way for Taupo, with temperatures hitting 30C.

• In Wellington, things are expected to be a bit changeable next month and while things will calm down - with more high pressure over the top of the capital meaning lighter winds - there will also be a chance of lows and wind and rain in between the highs.

• At the top of the South Island, Nelson is looking hot for December but the pattern may see further wet northerly events from time to time. Further south, Queenstown will be a bit unsettled with a real variety of "spring-like" temperatures in the first half of the month.