Hamilton and Wellington got their Christmas roasting last year, but this year showers threaten to put a dampener on the big day in most parts of the country.
The adage of you can't beat Wellington on a good day rang true for 2012, with the high of 28.6 degrees Celsius making the capital Christmas the hottest in New Zealand in the last decade, Niwa says.
The hottest Christmas for other main centres was 2009 when Dunedin hit 28.1C.
Unfortunately the outlook for Wednesday is not so promising with sporadic showers throughout the country.
A low in the Tasman Sea that extends back towards Australia, is due to cross the country on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day bringing rain, followed by a few showers.
The best of the centres will probably be Tauranga, with MetService predicting morning rain clearing early and a high of 24C.
Both Invercargill and Gore are heading for cool southerly winds and a high of 15C as rain eases to showers in the morning, while Queenstown will share the southerly winds but showers are expected to clear and the high will be a couple of degrees warmer at 17C.
Dunedin is also in for a cold one with occasional showers, a cool southwesterly and a high of 17C.
Auckland and Hamilton will get rain followed by showers and a high of 22C. Wellington and Christchurch will have fine spells and a few showers, with a high of 22C.
By Boxing Day another ridge of high pressure is expected to cover the country bringing back fine, sunny weather in most places.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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