Wellington and Hamilton sweltered in decade-long record temperatures last Christmas Day, but this year showers threaten to put a dampener on proceedings throughout the country.
The old adage of you can't beat Wellington on a good day rung true for 2012, with the high of 28.6 degrees making the capital Christmas the hottest in New Zealandover the last decade, according to NIWA.
Hamilton also enjoyed its hottest Christmas Day in a decade last year when it made 26.2 degrees.
The best year for Christmas in the main centres was 2009, with Dunedin (28.1 degrees), Tauranga (24 degrees) and Auckland (24.2 degrees) all registering their hottest Christmas' in 2009.
Christchurch's Christmas in the sun was in 2005, when temperatures peaked at 27.6 degrees.
Unfortunately the outlook for Wednesday is not so promising, with sporadic showers throughout the country.
A low in the Tasman Sea crosses south of New Zealand and extends a front back towards Australia.
That front will cross the country over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - it reaches Southland early morning on Tuesday, hits Wellington in the afternoon and Auckland early on Christmas Day.
It comes with rain, followed by a few showers.
The best of the centres will probably be Tauranga, with morning rain predicted to clear early on by MetService and a high of 24 degrees which will push for its Christmas Day record.
Auckland and Hamilton are in for rain followed by showers and a high of 22 degrees.
Wellington and Christchurch will have fine spells and a few showers, with a high of 22, while Dunedin is in for a cold one with occasional showers, a cool southwesterly and a high of 17.
By Boxing Day another ridge is expected to cover the country bringing back fine, sunny weather in most places.
Christmas Day temperature records:
Auckland - 24.2 degrees in 2009
Tauranga - 24 degrees in 2008, 2009
Hamilton - 26.2 degrees in 2012
Wellington - 28.6 degrees in 2012
Christchurch - 27.6 degrees in 2005
Dunedin - 28.1 degrees in 2009
- The Dominion Post
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