A warm Christmas should see plenty of surfing Santas.
A warm Christmas should see plenty of surfing Santas.

Christmas weather: Here’s what we know

CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and forecasters are beginning to firm up on their predictions for what the festive weather gods have in store.

It's been a tumultuous run-up to the Christmas break and some of that instability is still around, said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders.

"In the lead-up to Christmas, there will be further showers and storms for eastern Australia including Sydney.

"However, that activity will not be as widespread as during last week where we've had a massive amount of rain and flash flooding from Hobart all the way to Cape York."

As Christmas comes around, Santa may have a weather gift in his sack - a welcome window of calm conditions.

"All of the models are predicting a ridge of high pressure for southern Australia for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day," Mr Saunders said.

Surfing Santas — a classic of the Australian festive genre. Australian professional surfer Connor O’Leary and his friends going for their traditional Christmas Eve surf at Elouera Beach in Cronulla last year. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Surfing Santas — a classic of the Australian festive genre. Australian professional surfer Connor O’Leary and his friends going for their traditional Christmas Eve surf at Elouera Beach in Cronulla last year. Picture: Jonathan Ng

High-pressure systems generally lead to dry conditions and the sheer size of the ridge means its effects could be felt from Tasmania all the way to southern Queensland and southern Western Australia.

Mr Saunders was willing to take a punt on where it may be the hottest. At this point, the expected position of the ridge could mean South Australia has a very toasty Christmas Day.

It will be wetter in northern Australia, with the remnants of tropical Cyclone Owen still likely to be whipping up some rain.

"Over the next couple of days, Owen will go back north again (towards Cairns) but it's not expected to develop back into a cyclone," he said.

"There's a chance of showers but just regular wet season storms and it won't be enough rain to cause further flooding."

In terms of temperatures, more than a week out it can be difficult to make a forecast with any great accuracy. One of the reasons is because of the uncertainty of wind direction and any cool changes that may bubble up in the coming days.

"In Melbourne, for instance, a southerly wind could bring cooler temperatures (from the ocean) while a northerly could bring hot weather from central Australia," Mr Saunders said.

Christmas Day is looking toasty in the interior but the coasts, although warm, should be manageable with dry conditions. Picture: BSCH
Christmas Day is looking toasty in the interior but the coasts, although warm, should be manageable with dry conditions. Picture: BSCH

CHRISTMAS WEATHER AROUND THE CAPITALS

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is currently forecasting temperatures until Sunday, December 23.

For that day it has Sydney on a very average high of 23C. US website Weather.com includes more long-range forecasts. It puts the city at 27C for Christmas Day, but forecasts this far out are liable to change so check again in a few days.

The BOM has Canberra on 24C and cloudy on Sunday with Weather.com predicting a jump to 32C and sunny on December 25.

It will be partly cloudy and 22C in Melbourne on Sunday with a possibility of 27C and sunny the following Tuesday.

Hobart is 23C and cloudy on Sunday with a similar reading for Christmas Day.

In Adelaide, the forecast is 27C and sunny on Sunday then a high of 31C on Tuesday. For Perth, a hot 33C on Sunday with Weather.com predicting the same for the big day. It's the same numbers for Darwin but with possible storms.

Finally Queensland and the BOM has Brisbane on 28C with some showers on Sunday and then the longer range prediction for Christmas Day has almost the same high with sunny spells. Northern Queensland could see very similar conditions but maybe some light rain around the festive break.

So, generally warm and dry for Christmas but, with a few exceptions, not too toasty.

But what if you're looking for somewhere nice and cold, somewhere with a bit of winter chill for that proper northern Europe Christmas feel?

Mr Saunders has some advice: "It's always cool on the top of Mt Kosciuszko."