With temperatures expected to drop in some parts of the country this week, it's set to be a cooler-than-normal Christmas for many this year.
The cold snap comes as cool southerlies are pushed up from the Southern Ocean, bringing not-so-summery temperatures for cities in the south of the country.
Dunedin is looking at a Christmas Day high of between 12C and 14C, though that may drop to just 9C on Boxing Day, according to WeatherWatch head forecast Philip Duncan, who warned "the wind chill may make it feel even cooler". Overnight lows during the weekend in the city are forecast to get down to 6C.
Invercargill is also looking to be cooler, with Friday afternoon temperatures forecast to be in the low teens and Saturday hovering around 12C to 14C degrees at the warmest part of the day.
Wanaka will have an overnight low of 6C on Christmas night and a high of 12C on Boxing Day.
Overnight lows will come close to freezing in parts of Southland this weekend, with lows of 3C in Gore and Lumsden.
And while it may not exactly be a true white Christmas, there will also be some snow around in the South Island.
As much as 10 to 15cm of fresh powder is forecast to dust the peaks and main ranges of the Southern Alps and surrounds over the next few nights.
The snow level won't be very low, however; it's forecast to fall to around 1500 metres on the Alps on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and to around 2300m on the Remarkables around Queenstown
"If this was mid-winter we'd probably be looking at a major cold event but because it's early summer it will only make snow on the mountains and temperatures will be close to freezing but will likely fail to reach 0 anywhere populated," Duncan said on Tuesday.
"It won't be until sometime next week when the warmth starts to properly return to the south."
Wellington will face less of the cold, though the capital is set for a 10-day run of mostly cloudy, sometimes showery, weather over the holiday period.
Meanwhile, there are concerns drought may return to the north of the country.
"The next several days again look drier than normal for Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel Peninsula and parts of Bay of Plenty," Duncan said.
He said high pressure stopped Cyclone Yasa from reaching New Zealand, and though rain will be crossing the South Island and lower North Island very little is set to fall in the north of the country.
Duncan said some parts in the north have had below-normal rainfall for two years now and farmers have been asking WeatherWatch recently if they should brace for more drought.
"We said in spring that La Niña this year would only be moderate and it was more of a silver lining rather than a silver bullet to the ongoing dry issues in northern NZ."
Duncan said the rainfall figures for Auckland northwards remain well below normal for the next two weeks or longer.
"We're needing a big wet set up like the entire eastern side of Australia has been seeing lately - and will be seeing more of in January.
"Last year we caught the same big dry weather pattern Australia had, which led to similar drought zones forming in New Zealand. This year and into early next year Aussie is forecast to get some big rainmakers. This means despite the bubble of dry northern NZ remains locked in, there are signs this could still change in January."