Christmas forecast takes turn for the worse

MetService is expecting drizzly showers for most places

Last updated 12:24 21/12/2012
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ROB TUCKER

End of the golden weather

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Just four days out from Christmas the weather is looking decidedly less sunny than first thought, with former Cyclone Evan throwing a spanner in the works.

Rain is expected to hit Taranaki from Saturday and ease on Sunday however it will be here for Christmas.

MetService is expecting drizzly showers for most places over the next few days, but says it's still difficult to predict what the cyclone would do over the weekend.

Earlier in the week Taranaki was told warm sunny weather was in store for the Christmas break but Cyclone Evan has changed that.

MetService forecaster John Law said temperatures should hold, despite the system pushing more moisture down the North Island.

"It should still stay fairly warm in most places and there could be a bit of humidity, as the high is pushed pushed out of the way by system that was Evan, which is bringing the moist, warm air from the north."

Law said Central Otago and the West Coast were shaping up as the places to be on Christmas day, where the weather should remain reasonably fine. 

A ridge of high pressure which was sitting over New Zealand should move off to the east today as a trough moves over the South Island from the southwest.

MetService said that trough was expected to move northeast and then weaken over central New Zealand on Saturday, followed by another ridge.

Easterly winds will strengthen over the upper North Island during Saturday and Sunday as a low, formerly tropical cyclone Evan, approached Northland.

The low should then move away to the west on Monday, MetService said.

Tomorrow, the North Island would be mostly cloudy with patchy drizzle in the north, some rain or showers in most remaining areas and some heavy rainfall could be possible inland.

In the South Island, rain in the north was expected to clear, turning Saturday fine apart from cloudy periods with patchy drizzle along the east coast.

Over Sunday and Monday heavier rain was expected to set in over most parts of the North Island, although the south should remain cloudy with only a few patches of drizzle.

But on Tuesday - originally forecast to be a scorcher - the weather is looking increasingly disappointing.

The rain is expected to continue for most places in the North Island on Christmas day, with drizzle in some parts of the south.

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- Fairfax Media

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