Christmas Day is finally on the MetService’s long-range radar, but it might have been better to have stayed a surprise.

At this stage the outlook is for varying degrees of wetness everywhere on December 25, 2016.

The best approach might be to enjoy the sun when it does shine during the next week or so, and hope the outlook becomes more amenable as the big day approaches.

The forecasters, themselves make no great claims for their long range prediction.

“The weather in the run up to Christmas is very changeable this year, with several weather systems due to arrive ahead of Santa,” MetService said.

Weather models were differing in their opinions for Christmas Day, so considerable uncertainty remained in the forecast this far out.

“This degree of uncertainty means the current Christmas Day forecast may change as we move closer to the day,” MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray said.

The forecast for days 6-10 on the MetService website were handy for a longer range heads-up, but were automatically generated by models.

“Once we’re five days and closer to Christmas, our meteorologists write the forecasts which adds that extra expertise and local knowledge – meaning a more accurate prediction to help plan your day,” Murray said.

Hopefully the reality of Christmas Day will be very different from the predictions so far made by MetService.

For those who want to fret, here’s the breakdown for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2016, as forecast in the MetService long range outlook.

Rain on Christmas Eve, showers on Christmas Day: Upper North Island, including Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth.

Showers on both days: Gisborne, Napier, Hastings.

Rain on both days: Lower North Island and South Island, including Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown, Greymouth.

In the meantime, Friday is looking good for most of the country, while in the west and south of the South Island showers should ease during the day. It’s a bit rough for coastal Southland and Clutha, though with westerly gales expected to persist until Friday night.

Most of the country is expected to stay dry on Saturday, but it could be cloudy in the southwest of the North Island and the west of the South Island. Fiordland could have some rain.

On Sunday, there could be cloudy periods in the North Island, with late rain in the southwest. In the South Island. rain is expected in the west, while a few showers could make it over to the east side.