A ray of Christmas sunshine?

23:38, Dec 17 2013

MetService's long range forecast may be showing rain across the country for Christmas Day, but the reality is expected to be far more pleasant.

Showers on Christmas Eve or Christmas day are considered more likely.

"It will not be a complete washout ... It may actually be dry," MetService communications meteorologist Daniel Corbett said today.

"There is a weather system coming across the Tasman Sea early next week but successive computer model runs seem to be moving it through more quickly."

Christmas was still too far away to be able to pinpoint the weather for that day.

"But the way it's looking at this moment, there will probably be this weather system coming into the West Coast of the South Island through Christmas Eve," Corbett said.

That would mean a few showers Christmas Eve on the West Coast, with showers elsewhere in the country on Christmas day.

While MetService had 10-day forecasts on its website, only those for the next five or six days were made by forecasters. Beyond that, the forecasts were purely generated by a computer model.

Parts of the country were expected to get rain before Christmas, which could be a bonus for farmers in some dry areas.