You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The magic of Christmas seems set to spread over Otago and Southland this year.
MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said the weather was expected to be wet and gloomy over the next four days, but Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day were shaping up to be hot and mostly sunny around the region.
''The important thing to remember is, this is at the extended range of our forecast.
''The further out in future we go, we get a little bit more uncertain about what will actually happen with each added day.
''But having said that, the current forecast is very positive over Christmas for the South Island.''
''Part of the reason you will have warmer temperatures over the southern region is there will be light and warm westerly winds that dry out as they go over the Southern Alps.
''It will be great weather for barbecues and outdoor activities. People will be able to get out and enjoy whatever Santa brings them.''
Because of the hot sunny weather, he advised people to put on sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade when possible.
''That's always our advice through summer. You've got to take care of yourself.''
Make the most of the good weather. The MetService is forecasting more rain to follow Boxing Day.