You'd better watch out - Santa's bringing a mixed bag of naughty and nice weather this Christmas.

WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan said although Christmas was more than a week away, there were some hints about what to expect.

"At this stage, the long range modelling shows the North Island is probably leaning towards being warmer and drier, and the South Island looks like it's leaning towards being about average temperature-wise, with maybe a couple of showers around."

Duncan warned it's still a general forecast and they didn't have specific information yet.

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"What we look for this far out is the placement of highs and lows. Most of the modelling seems to agree that there'll be high pressure out over Tasmania and the Tasman Sea, moving towards New Zealand, and low pressure near the South Island or east of the South Island, moving away from it."

He said a sizeable low is tracking by New Zealand in the Southern Ocean next weekend which may still be hanging around for Christmas Day.

The long-range air pressure model shows low pressure leaving New Zealand on the 23rd, this will create showers for the West Coast and possibly Southland.

Long Range forecast for Dec 23rd shows low pressure moving away from the country, and showers predicted for the West Coast and possibly Southland, making way for drier weather. Photo / Weather Watch
Long Range forecast for Dec 23rd shows low pressure moving away from the country, and showers predicted for the West Coast and possibly Southland, making way for drier weather. Photo / Weather Watch

Following that, Duncan said, a large, high pressure front is expected to sweep across from Australia, bringing more settled, dry weather for holiday makers heading out of town.

"This current pattern bodes well for a lot of the populated tourist spots like Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Islands, Nelson, Taupo, Queenstown. All those places may be looking fairly dry."

Hourly forecast data for Christmas Day will be available from Monday, with regular fine-tuning throughout the week.

Duncan said the forecast is consistent with what we've been seeing over the past couple of weeks, which is good news for holidaymakers.

"Overall, this summer is shaping up to be a good one, but maybe a little more stressful for farmers and growers."

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He said the heavy rain and possible thunderstorms predicted this weekend and Tuesday had a silver lining, especially in the upper North Island.

"That's kind of an early Christmas present for a lot of farmers, a lot of growers, and also people that've got baches that rely on rainwater."

Families with school children should prepare for a few "indoor days" between now and Christmas Day in both islands.

"As much as we all want it to be sunny and dry every day, there are consequences for that. We'll pay more for vegetables and have water shortages," said Duncan.

"So if we can get some rain events before Christmas, it really sets us up for the drier January and February coming up."