Rain is expected to spread as far south as the Wairarapa on Christmas Eve, although Wellington should stay dry. But on Christmas morning the capital and the upper South Island can expect rain.
The South Island is definitely the island to be on for Christmas day, and the further south the better. ‘Queenstown and Wanaka are in for a glorious Christmas day with temperatures reaching the high twenties or low thirties and plenty of sun’, said James Millward, a Meteorologist at MetService.‘The further north you go, the more chance of rain and cloud, with heavy, thundery rainfalls expected over the northern North Island’.
A series of fronts are forecast to move slowly southward in the coming days, bringing bursts of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms to the northern North Island. A Severe Weather Watch is in place for the upper North Island for Heavy Rain, whilst a Severe Thunderstorm Watch is valid until this evening for Northland, north Auckland, Great Barrier Island and northern parts of the Coromandel. Rainfall rates associated with these thunderstorms could reach 25-40mm/hr at times.
With King Tides expected for the upper North Island over the coming days, alongside onshore northeasterly winds and plenty of rain, there may also be impacts on coastal roads over the Christmas period, including Tamaki Drive.
‘The good news for the North Island is that the weather will ease with an improving trend for Boxing Day and the 27th’, James said, ‘whilst the South Island will have more of a showery flavour.’