Crank up the BBQs for Xmas Day - with mostly fine weather forecast for New Zealand tomorrow.

Fine weather is expected for the North Island and the most of the South Island.

The odd shower has been forecast - both today and tomorrow - for inland areas, including the Central Plateau.

And the only part of the country expected to get an unseasonal festive dousing tomorrow is the West Coast of the South Island. But the showers aren't expected to last all day.


Temperatures are expected to reach 25C in Kaitaia, Auckland, Whanganui and Dunedin. Hamilton is expected to enjoy 26C on Christmas Day, while Cantabrians should be enjoying temperatures up to 31C.

But MetService Meteorologist Tui McInnes said it would be wise to enjoy the fine weather tomorrow before some overdue rain was expected to arrive on Boxing Day when a wet front moves in.

"The North Island is looking pretty good for Christmas Day. It's not until Boxing Day that the front starts moving in," McInnes said.

"To be honest, even though the South Island will get a bit of rain it's going to be pleasant in most places. And in Nelson and Marlborough it's actually looking pretty good."

A positive spin on the incoming rain is it is likely to offer some respite to drought-affected farmers in the lower North island, where a paddocks have turned brown calls made for people to conserve water.

It hasn't rained in parts of Taranaki since October where a drought was officially declared yesterday, as well as for parts of Wellington and western Manawatu-Whanganui.

McInnes said the front looked like it would move over the lower North Island on Boxing Day, bringing some much-needed rain to drought-affected areas.

This was likely to be followed by another warm trough on December 27, however, there were a few weather events occurring that made it too difficult to predict what would happen from the 28th.


Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O'Connor yesterday agreed the drought was a "medium scale" adverse event and pledged $160,000 to help with the possibility of further assistance in the New Year.

The classification triggers financial assistance from the Government.

Farmers in need of help can contact the local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 or visit

Christmas Day temperatures:

Kaitaia 25C high
Auckland 25C
Hamilton 26C
New Plymouth 22C
Whanganui 27C
Wellington 22C
Nelson 23C
Westport 21C
Christchurch 31C
Dunedin 25C
Queenstown 21C
Invercargill 20C