Boxing day weather: Cold temperatures sweep country

Westport, Nelson, and Blenheim will see heavy rain and thunderstorms on Boxing Day.
Westport, Nelson, and Blenheim will see heavy rain and thunderstorms on Boxing Day. Photo credit: Getty Images

Boxing Day will see a raft of chilly temperatures across the country, with the South Island hit by rain, cool southerlies and even thunderstorms.

Temperatures are sitting around average for most of the North Island today, with Whangarei seeing a high of 24C, Auckland 21C, Taupo 20C, and Wellington 16C.

According to MetService, Gisborne will hit the highest Boxing Day temperature with 25.4C. 

Much of the South Island will experience lower than usual highs for this time of year, with Christchurch on 14C, Oamaru 13C, Queenstown 15C, and Invercargill 13C. 

Westport, Nelson, and Blenheim will experience afternoon thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail, which should clear up by the evening.

All flights at Nelson airport are now suspended due to the thunderstorm.

Banks Peninsula will receive the most rain today with MetService issuing a heavy rain watch for the region until midday. 

On Sunday and Monday a strong, cold, southerly flow is expected to strengthen about the North Island and a ridge of high pressure spreads slowly over the South Island - creating rain and strong southerlies that will affect the upper South Island and lower North Island.

Highs on Sunday will get colder for the North Island, with Auckland hitting 20C, New Plymouth 18C, Tauranga 21C, and Wellington a chilly 13C. 

Wellington will see occasional rain and strong, cold southerlies while Nelson and Blenheim will see clouds with a chance of some showers. The flow should ease by Tuesday.

The South Island will also see chilly temperatures the day after Boxing Day - Christchurch hitting 15C, Dunedin 13C, Greymouth 13C, and Queenstown 18C.