Santa may need to bring a raincoat and gumboots as parts of the motu are in for a wet start to Christmas.
Scattered thunderstorms were expected to develop over parts of the northern and central North Island on Sunday evening through to Christmas Day.
Heavy rain was set to continue around Mount Taranaki/Taranaki Maunga, The Tararua Range, Tasman ranges west of Motueka and the ranges of Westland south of Otira through to about 9am on Monday with up to 80mm expected to fall in some places.
MetService says rainfall could peak at around 20-millimetres per hour before easing later in the day.
A heavy rain warning has been issued for the areas.
Around 20 flights into Auckland were delayed on Sunday, as rain swept across the region.
MetService meteorologist John Law said Christmas would be hot and muggy for the rest of the country.
“As we head into the final days towards Christmas, we’ll find our weather dominated by some pretty warm and muggy air,” he said.
“[There’s] an area of low pressure that’s one of the systems introducing all this warm and muggy air over us.”
On Christmas Day itself, while there would have been rain, Law said the weather was expected to improve.
“Everything does look to be improving through the day, so as we head towards the end of the day we should find some dry conditions, perhaps the best of the brightness and the driest, warmest temperatures as well, out towards that eastern side of the North Island … places like Hawke’s Bay up as high as 30 to 32C.
“On the South Island, generally some drier and brighter weather there … [for] places like Christchurch and Canterbury, [they are] looking pretty decent through Christmas Day.”