Weather: Storms to ease in first week of winter

  • 01/06/2016

Winter is officially here, with this past month also marking the end of the big El Niño spell the country has been under.

Hokitika smashed its May rainfall record with around 580ml -- a massive 2.5 times the norm.

MetService Meteorologist Lisa Murray says the other side of the island also hit a milestone.

"Christchurch actually had their warmest May on record since 1953," she says. "Even though we've had these cooler temperatures, those early two weeks in May were much warmer, and they kept the averages up."

Today is the first day of winter, although parts of the country have already been feeling its bite.

The good news is a reprieve from the southerly storms is in store, with most places drier than usual for the first week -- the second a bit wetter than usual.

Ms Murray says the long weekend is looking good.

"It looks like a really decent, long weekend, so people can get out and about. The one thing I will say is there will be some cold temperatures. With no cloud around, there's no insulation.

"On these cooler nights for winter, it will get down, with some places seeing lots of frost. We might even get severe frost in some of the inland areas of Otago and Canterbury."

Despite the cold temperatures, much of the country is in for a spell of blue skies and dry weather, with plenty of sunshine over the long weekend.