Our official Christmas Day forecast!

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If you're looking for the 2009 Christmas Day forecast please Click Here.

Below is the 2008 forecast...

This is the Weather Watch Centre's 'Official' Christmas Day forecast! 

This is the final update on this page... check our home page for further weather forecasts and weather news for Christmas Day!

Final Discussion - Issued 6:30, Tuesday, Dec 23rd.

Solid rain is (not literally!) is falling across Northland and Auckland tonight as a sub-tropical low moves down the North Island.  Some good rain should fall over Gisborne tonight and Christmas Eve morning.  If you live in that area we'd love to know how much falls at your place.

During Christmas Eve that low will drift out into the Pacific Ocean towards the Chatham Islands.  Meanwhile high pressure will build behind it "locking in" some of that warm humid air in the north, but also helping a southerly move up the South Island's east coast.

By Christmas Day there'll be a high to the North West of NZ and to the South West.... in betweeen a very weak front will fall apart. 

Philip Duncan

Latest Xmas Day Forecast

North Island:  Cloudy periods in coastal areas otherwise sunny.  Central and any eastern beaches will be the place to be...that includes most of the North Island's busiest holiday spots!

Lower down in Wellington and a pretty day lies ahead but a late southerly may cloud things over and cool them down a bit.  Nothing major and any showers should be small.

Temps:  Lower to mid 20s for most places.  Late teens for lower parts of the NI.

South Island:  It's still looking likely to be a cloudy and cool day for the east coast as that sub-tropical low drops away east of New Zealand and sucking up cold, but relatively harmless, southerlies from Southland, along the east coast.  There may be a shower or two but nothing significant expected.  Temps:  They've lifted a little bit - probably in the low to mid teens for southern and eastern areas, and around the low to mid 20s for northern, central - and possibly even western areas!

A reminder that this is the final post in this particular story.  For all the latest weather news - and to watch the Live Santa Tracker - check out our homepage!

Please note:  Our forecasts are 100% independent of MetService and any other New Zealand weather provider.   The forecasts on this page are the Weather Watch Centre's official Christmas Day predictions.


Substantial rain across

Substantial rain across Auckland last night. Most areas receiving between 40mm and 65mm. An xmas pressie for the dry gardens!

Heavy rain

Yep big rain fall across Auckland last night... was more than I predicted the other day - but I think Gisborne got less than expected/needed.


On the "Rain tracker" at

On the "Rain tracker" at metservice it shows an Absolutely Strong SW flow across Auckland and has the Highest windspeed apart from some remote place about 50 deg south under Tasmania its equal to what the Wind Speed on Wednesday is forecasted as the low departs to Hawkes Bay.

Now the latest has

Now the latest has SouthWesterlies in the forecast,the Worst kind of weather possible(in Auckland anyway),I rather have easterlies over SW.Hopefully it will change again like it seems to be doing.

Xmas Weather

Looks to me like a low could move in from the subtropics about Xmas Eve which will obviously bring rain and easterly to top half. So probably showery westerly after in the top half of the north island. Yuk if it happens!


Yeah I noticed that prediction too... it may just be far enough east bring south easterlies in to Auckland... which is a dry direction.  Definitely worth watching the computer models on that one.  We're still expecting Christmas Day to be dry but there is the chance of showers in the north east (Gisborne for example) as that low departs out into the Pacific.

Philip Duncan

Xmas forecast

Xmas Day should be good for most of us - I have the only rain in the country on that day around South Taranaki and the W and S of the SI. There could be some storm force NW winds in the lower NI just before Xmas and they will have mostly blown over by Xmas Day. Throughout the top half of the NI, the day may be sunny. Wellington may get a shower later in the day. For the SI; at the top and over in the E should be dry but inland Otago and Southland cloudy. Christchurch could be windy and Dunedin may be cloudy and showery. My pick of places to be on Xmas Day would be Auckland.
Can't say the same for New Year's weather. The best spot to be could be Wellington. Auckland might get a bit rough in the Gulf, and Christchurch may be cloudy.
And then we're all heading for a hot summer and a dry January and a wet February. In fact with rather dry conditions from mid-December through to first week February; Northland, Auckland, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty may be at fire risk.

Appreciation for a very smart guy...w

Hi Ken
My husband and I live on Huntsbury Hill, Christchurch. We've always admired you and your work, especially the predictions regarding the favourable environment for earthquakes in our region.

We felt very sad when the fearful, ignorant, head in the sand tribe chose to persecute your wisdom regarding weather and seismic info.
Keep up the amazing work which should be easy as it's obviously a passion.
Yvonne & Murray
This word verification is malfunctioning, have completed it correctly twice and it's still not accepted??!.

Is it gonna rain?

We are south-west of Whangarei, it has been very hot all day, in the afternoon the skies turned black and we thought yaye its going to rain but we only got a shower, whiptydo. Are these dark skies going to turn into rain or are they just for show. Our barometer has been pointing towards rain for a couple of days now (perhaps the needle is stuck). I look forward to your comment.


Firstly, don't forget to tap your barometer lightly to ensure the needle isn't stuck!  Secondly, it's certainly humid and there are some showers moving in - whether or not they'll make it as far east as where you are is another thing.  Even if they do we think you'd be lucky to receive more than 3 or 4mm.


The Weather Watch Team

Not sure it's a great idea to

Not sure it's a great idea to use the GFS model so far forward in time, it is the worst of all the models. The European model is the best of the bunch and wants to have a high just to the southeast of the country, which will probably make Central Otago and western areas the place to be. The high is so far south that it looks likely for Auckland, Coromandel, eastern Northland and possibly (but not likely) Hawke's Bay and Gisborne to have low cloud and drizzle on Christmas Day. However, it would at least be fairly warm!
Christchurch in this scenario would have cool northeasterlies and cloud along the Canterbury coast I think. But inland it would be decent.

For the last 3 runs, the European model has seen this trend, of a high centred a reasonable way south, progressing in from the Tasman Sea to cover the south of the country on Christmas Day. The best news is that it has got rid of a previous scenario where there was an ugly low sat on the country on Christmas Eve, which was going to be shoved away by the high anyway, but would have been a nuisance I think.

Will be interesting to see if any of the models have yet picked the right trend. Time will tell!



Hey Douglas,

I agree about relying on one model... the weather data we get from America actually uses those European sources too.  We also use the GFS ourselves to compare.  I think it can be pretty good over a short period but agree that it tends to not be the best for long range.

The GFS we use only takes us to this weekend anyway - so we rely heavily on a mixture of data from various overseas countries (but comes to us in a tidy package out of America!).

I agree that eastern areas look likely to be cloudier.  Am just about to update the forecast actually.  Thanks heaps for the input - enjoyed reading your thoughts!


Philip Duncan

week of 20th - 27th

Any idea what the few days leading up to Christmas is going to be like?

Lead Up

As of today, Tuesday, the lead up looks similar...partly cloudy, winds range from E, SE to S.  A few regions, like Taranaki, are showing a 10% chance of showers on Xmas Eve.   

Check back this evening around 7pm for the update - and I'll include a mention of the lead up!


Philip Duncan

Dont really mind if it rains

Dont really mind if it rains on Xmas day (infact a Xmas day where it rains all day can be more enjoyable) as long as the Pesky SW wind stays away with its cold changeable cloudy windy weather.And of course lots of sun after that for New Year etc.