British travellers braved the weather to take a dip on Christmas Day at Bondi Beach. Photo: AP
There were reindeer, but there were also raincoats and umbrellas aplenty in Sydney on Christmas Day, the wettest in the city in 70 years.
The city was drenched in 20 millimetres of rain on Tuesday as a slow-moving low pressure system moved north over NSW.
Weatherzone meteorologist Melissa MacKellar said that was the wettest Christmas Day on record in Sydney since 1942, and the most rain the city had received since June this year.
The wet weather kept most people off Bondi Beach on Christmas Day. Photo: AP
"A broad, slow-moving low pressure trough moved up through NSW and brought the heavy rain," Ms MacKellar said.
"The head of it was fed by moist, onshore easterly winds. That provided the moisture and the trough provided the instability for the storms and rain."
While there is a chance of showers on Wednesday morning, mainly in the west, conditions are expected to begin to clear for the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race at 1pm.
"Winds will be south to south-easterly but they will be easing by this afternoon. They will probably be moderate to fresh, and then as the yachts move south, winds will tend northerly," Ms MacKellar said.
Cricket lovers can expect perfect conditions for the start of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, where it is forecast to be mostly sunny with a top of 24 degrees with light to moderate winds.
After a damp start to the week, Sydney's weather should start to fine up for the remainder of the week.
Thursday is forecast to be sunny with a maximum of 25 degrees in the city, before it heats to an expected 27 degrees on Friday.
The weekend will see the possibility of showers on Saturday and Sunday, when a maximum of 26 and 25 degrees are forecast.
New Year's Eve is expected to be partly cloudy with isolated showers and a forecast top of 26 degrees in Sydney.