Weather may dampen New Year plans
The best New Year's Eve weather is expected on the east side of the country.
"As it stands at the moment, for New Year's Eve it looks like a real split between the west and the eastern side of the country," MetService forecaster John Law said.
The wettest weather was expected on the west of the South Island from Buller through to Fiordland.
It was expected to be drier in the east, with the area from Gisborne down towards Marlborough and Canterbury staying dry through the day, although some higher cloud could move in.
There would be a few showers to watch out for on the west of the North Island, along with some fine, sunny spells.
MetService forecaster Sarah Garlick said a prediction was being provided only until New Year's Eve and the weather could change easily.
Wellington could expect reasonably fine weather today and tomorrow before a day of showers on Saturday.
But the weather should begin to clear by the last day of the year, although some patchy rain could persist, she said.
The forecast for both Palmerston North and Taranaki was less positive, with both likely to be wet on New Year's Eve.
WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said the weather pattern that caused a cloudy and damp Christmas Eve for many parts of the country would probably return in the final days of 2012.
"Just like for the start of Christmas we expect a high to the east and another one in the Tasman Sea, lowering the air pressure here at home and increasing the risks of wind and showers."
The central North Island could expect gusty norwesters but he expected the main centres of Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch to remain dry.
"I tend to be a glass-half-full kinda guy and, while the forecast may not be ideal, keep in mind long-range predictions are just a basic guide ...
"If you're going away camping, just keep up to date with the latest weather news and potential warnings. But this looks short-lived, with a high hopefully moving in to settle things down for the start of January."
The Dominion Post