Temperature plummets as rain arrives

Leith Campion retrieves his ball from the hole during a rain-soaked semifinal of the Otago...
Leith Campion retrieves his ball from the hole during a rain-soaked semifinal of the Otago Matchplay Championships held at Balmacewen yesterday. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
A rain-soaked  start to the Otago Matchplay Championships at Balmacewen Golf Course and the North East Valley 10,000 bowls punctuated a Labour Weekend of volatile weather in Dunedin.

Dunedin’s dizzying high of 29degC on Sunday crashed to 9degC yesterday afternoon.

However, MetService forecaster Aidan Pyselman said fans of warmer weather would only need to wait until next weekend for beach-going weather to reappear.

A ridge of high pressure was due to return to the South, Mr Pyselman said.

And with long fine spells ahead for Otago and Southland for much of this week, temperatures were expected to top 20degC again in Invercargill and Dunedin on Friday and Saturday.

"During the day once the cloud breaks up, lots of sunshine," he said.

"It’s going to be a pretty reasonable-looking week."

The golf and bowls competitions in Dunedin went ahead yesterday despite the soggy morning conditions, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand welcomed the 17mm that fell in Dunedin from midnight to yesterday morning.

A Fenz spokeswoman said yesterday afternoon crews were keeping an eye on a large gorse fire that burnt through 5ha of gorse north of Dunedin on Sunday, but it was considered extinguished.

At its peak, three helicopters used monsoon buckets to douse the fire that at one stage threatened properties while hot weather and wind fanned the flames.

Rain through the early hours yesterday put out the fire.

"The rain is wonderful; yes, we like rain," the spokeswoman said.

Yesterday’s southern soaking was concentrated around Milford Sound and Franz Josef Glacier, which recorded 126mm and 119mm respectively in 18 hours from 9pm Sunday into the early hours yesterday, Mr Pyselman said.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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