Hot Labour Weekend, but cool change coming

It’s looking sizzling hot in the east of both islands at Labour Weekend, as soaring temperatures usher in a long-awaited taste of summer.

The mercury is set to skyrocket to a whopping 28degC in Christchurch and Kaikoura on Sunday, and equally toasty temperatures as high as 26degC for Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.

Dunedin and Oamaru are set to reach 25degC,  Invercargill 23degC and Queenstown 20degC on Sunday.

But MetService is warning the balmy conditions will be short-lived and some parts of the South Island will experience a drastic drop of up to 15degC drop in less than a day.

“That’ll be an important thing for people to keep in mind when they’re going away this weekend, that Sunday and Monday will be two completely different stories,” MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said.

She said for much of the weekend the North Island would wake to cloudy skies before the sun burned through, ushering in fine weather. But showers would pepper parts of the island over both days.

“In the afternoons, right through to Sunday, we do expect some showery conditions especially in central, western and northern parts of the North Island,” she said.

The best weather is reserved for eastern coastal regions of both islands, where warm temperatures will send the mercury rocketing.

Christchurch and Kaikoura are both looking to hit 28degC and Ashburton and Timaru are likely to reach 27degC.

As well as the high temperatures, Canterbury is also in line for strong winds on Sunday.

A heavy rain watch has been issued for Westland and Fiordland.

But Makgabutlane said Monday would usher in a drastic change in temperatures in the South, which would have people reaching for their winter woollies overnight.

“From Sunday into Monday one of the places to see one of the biggest drops is Ashburton and Timaru.

"On Sunday they’re expected to reach 27degC and then on Monday their maximum is only 12degC. It’s a drop of 15degC,” she said.

Rain is forecast for Dunedin and Oamaru and a high of just 11degC, while Invercargill is set to reach 12degC and Queenstown 16degC.

Temperatures would remain summer-like in the North Island for the holiday weekend, she said.

- NZ Herald and ODT Online

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