South Island braces for temperature drops of 20degC

We all love to grumble about the weather, but the residents of Alexandra will have more reason than most this week.

From a high of 36degC today, by Friday, the town will be wrapping up against the relatively clement temperatures of 16. 

Metservice meteorologist Lisa Murray says 20-degree drops over such a short period do happen occasionally - the most important thing is that people are prepared for the dramatic change.

"Particularly down south, we do get these big changes," she says. "It's not common, but it's not unheard of.

"The southern parts of New Zealand gets significant drops, whenever winds come up from the southern ocean.

"The concern is that people who are heading out for the long weekend - going camping and into the outdoors - can easily get caught out.

"For those who have been enjoying the shorts and the jandals, it's important they prepare and don't get caught off guard." 

Alexandra isn't the only place being hit by the temperature change - Queenstown will go from 31 to 14 by Friday, and Masterton will drop from 34 to 19. 

The peaks of Fjordland and the Southern Alps may even see some snow, but this will disappear quickly, due to the warm ground temperatures. 

By comparison, Northland will see drops of only a few degrees. 

"The cold southerlies take longer to get there and it weakens as it moves up the counrty," says Ms Murray. "So Northland will still be more influenced by that tropical northerly air."

For those down south, the most important thing is to be wary of the severe changes coming. 

Ms Murray advises anyone venturing out to check the Metservice website for any updates.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: