Scorching temperatures for South Island

Keep your sunscreen and hats handy - parts of the South Island are in for a scorcher today.

The MetService has forecast temperatures of up to 36 deg C in Christchurch, 33 deg C in Oamaru, 31 deg C in Mosgiel, and 30 deg C in Dunedin, making it their hottest day of the summer so far.

Alexandra is also expected to reach 30degC today, but it is not the town鈥檚 hottest day of the summer.

Meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree said Alexandra鈥檚 hottest day this summer was on January 16 when it reached 31.2 degC.

"Alexandra is a place to watch. It could get hotter than 30degC."

She said if Oamaru reached 33 deg C, it would break its January record high of 32.6 deg C.

However, Dunedin and Alexandra were not expected to break their January records of 34.2 deg C and 36.4 deg C, both set in 2018, respectively.

She said the hot weather was being brought to the South by strong northwesterlies, which were expected to develop over the country today ahead of a front forecast to move on to Fiordland from the west tomorrow.

"Warm to hot temperatures are forecast for many areas ahead of the front, and then followed by significantly cooler temperatures in a strong south to southwest flow behind the front."

Today and tomorrow, severe gale northwesterlies were likely to hit exposed parts of Fiordland, Southland and Clutha, and tomorrow the gales would also become severe in exposed parts of the Southern Lakes and Central Otago, she said.

"On Wednesday, this front is likely to deliver a period of heavy rain to the South Island west coast, with moderate confidence of warning amounts of rain for southern Westland and Fiordland.

"Later on Wednesday and Thursday, a period of rain and strong southwesterlies is expected for the southeast of the South Island.

"There is low confidence of warning amounts of rain and severe gale southwesterlies for Southland, Clutha, Dunedin and North Otago, especially in coastal places."

Weather conditions were expected to return to warm, dry and sunny during Saturday, as a ridge of high pressure built over New Zealand, she said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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