South set for Labour Weekend stunner

If you want to hold an outdoor event, Labour Weekend is traditionally the time to avoid holding it.

Generally, it brings changeable, cold, cloudy or wet weather to Otago and Southland for much of the three-day holiday.

But this year is shaping up to be one out of the bag, the MetService says.

The forecast is for dry, sunny weather in Central Otago where temperatures will hover in the low 20s.

Wanaka is expected to reach a balmy 25degC on Labour Day.

Coastal areas of Otago and Southland are a little cooler, where temperatures will range from 16degC to a warm 21degC.

MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said the comparatively mild weather was being created by a "blocking high'' that was sitting over New Zealand at present.

"The isobars are spread out over our area, which means weaker winds and calmer conditions.

"Fine weather and warm temperatures are in store for most of the country, with many centres hitting temperatures in the low to mid-twenties.

"The timing couldn't be better. Following a cold start to October, the weekend's weather will allow Kiwis to get out and about, and enjoy the great outdoors.''

However, he cautioned trampers to pay particular attention to the mountain forecast if they were planning a trip over the long weekend.

He said mountain conditions were completely different from what was experienced at lower levels.

"Our partners at Mountain Safety Council tell us that Labour weekend has one of the highest incident rates of any of the major holidays, with research showing on average three people involved in a search and rescue per day.

"In many of these incidents, adverse weather is a key contributing factor, so you must make sure you are properly equipped and check the forecast before you set out,'' he said.

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