With three sleeps left until Christmas presents are unwrapped and crackers are pulled, it's looking like many Kiwis will be needing sunhats and shades to accessorise their holiday.

Weatherwatch.co.nz is predicting a minimum 20C for everywhere around the country, with the West Coast and Southland being the coolest and likely the wettest.

However, there is a cold front out in the Tasman Sea to keep an eye on which could bring a few showers and wind.

"Sub-tropical winds for some in the North Island while the nor'westers kick in through inland areas of both islands. The hottest areas will be in the east from Canterbury northwards, the wettest will be on the West Coast."

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The eastern parts of both islands will be heating up and highs in the late 20s and possibly up to 30C can be expected.

Most other places will be pretty warm too in the mid to late 20s.

MetService is picking a balmy 25C and mainly fine for Auckland and Whangarei while Hamilton is expected to go one better to 26C.

Further south, Wellingtonians are likely to enjoy a fine morning and 22C before the odd shower in the afternoon and evening

Christchurch will be a scorcher with the mercury expected to hit 31C on a cloudy Christmas Day.

As for rain, Weatherwatch.co.nz said cloud was expected to build up around the North Island in the afternoon which could produce some isolated but heavy downpours through inland areas.

The wettest spots would be Fiordland and the West Coast, especially the southern half, with a chance of heavy falls in those areas.

There could also be showers or patches of rain for Southland and parts of Otago later in the day.

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The driest area looks to be around Nelson-Marlborough, which has the lowest risk of rain or showers.

Today, sun and fine spells over much of the North Island would be punctuated with showers. Temperatures were expected to peak in the mid 20s with areas up north like Kerikeri and Whangarei reaching a high of 28C.

Down south things were looking a little drier, with temperatures reaching 27C in spots like Wanaka.

Christmas Day weather

Whangarei

• Fine with the chance of an afternoon shower 25C

Auckland

• Fine with the chance of an afternoon shower 25C

Hamilton

• Cloudy then fine. 26C

Tauranga

• Fine with the chance of an afternoon shower 23C

Wellington

• Fine with afternoon and evening showers 22C

Christchurch

• Cloudy with rain later on. 31C