The lead up to Christmas Day is likely to be wet and windy in the north of the country, as Cyclone Evan peters out as it heads our way.
"Evan is just now leaving Fiji and is on a direct path for the upper North Island," says WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan
"[The cyclone] will pick up speed tomorrow and start to affect our weather as early as Saturday morning with increasing clouds, some rain in the north and building east to southeast winds".
As Evan pushes south, a large high over the South Island is expected to hold it back, starving the storm of fuel and "tearing it apart" over the coming weekend.
"We think this will happen over the upper North Island, meaning conditions will be easing - but it still may make for a cloudy, wet, humid few days."
Though conditions should ease by Monday, lingering remnants of the cyclone mean it'll still likely be a wet Christmas.
"Saturday to Monday look wettest and windiest with conditions easing on Monday," says Mr Duncan.
"By Christmas Day it looks as though the final scraps of Evan will cross over the eastern North Island hopefully with enough energy for an early morning Christmas present for farmers desperately in need of rain - then it should clear during the day for most places".
Mr Duncan says the South Island, in contrast, will have "brilliant Christmas Day weather" thanks to the large high.
Cyclone’s reach still ‘uncertain’
Cyclone Evan is expected to pass within a few hundred kilometres of the northern North Island over the weekend, by which time it is unlikely to be a tropical cyclone - "but this is by no means certain", MetService chief forecaster Peter Kreft says.
"We're very conscious of the possibility of a track which takes Evan near East Cape. This would be a totally different ball game."
A large amount of tropical air from the cyclone means potentially heavy rainfall in places, including Northland, Auckland and Coromandel over the weekend, and strong onshore winds.
3 News / NZN