While most of the South Island and the lower North Island were sizzling away under blue skies on Christmas Day, the upper North Island and the Coromandel Peninsula copped some rain.
Today's high of 34 degC was recorded in Alexandra, while temperatures in Northland, the West Coast and the Milford Sounds stayed around 23 degC
Rain is expected to spread through most of the North Island south of Auckland and the upper South Island down to North Canterbury tomorrow.
The rain and thunder comes after the low pressure system that was Cyclone Evan hit Northland and Auckland and pushed hot humid conditions down the North Island.
The long-range forecast for New Year's eve and New Year's day around the lower North Island was for gusty nor'westers and rain as twin highs squeezed the country.