Hot Labour Weekend for Canterbury - but cool change coming

It’s looking like a sizzling hot Labour Weekend in the South island, as soaring temperatures usher in a long-awaited taste of summer.

The mercury is set to skyrocket to a whopping 28 deg C in Christchurch and Kaikoura on Sunday. 

Ashburton and Timaru are likely to reach 27 deg C, while Dunedin and Oamaru are set to reach 25 deg C, Invercargill 23 deg C and Queenstown 20 deg C 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 15 deg C drop in less than a day.

In Christchurch, it will drop to 14 deg C on Monday with a low of 8 deg C.

“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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

- NZ Herald and ODT Online

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