Weather: Enjoy hot, sunny Sunday weather as rain, wind, thunderstorms on the way

People should make the most of the hot and dry weather on Sunday as rain and wind is on the way over the coming week.   

The past week has seen temperatures soar into the mid-thirties in some places around the country and even seen heat alerts issued in many places.   

On Saturday, Hanmer Springs recorded the hottest temperature of 2024 to date, with a high of 35.1 degrees, according to NIWA. It was even the eighth warmest January day on record, with records dating back to 1906.   

NIWA said many other places experienced temperatures in the 30's on Saturday while Leigh in Auckland hit a high of 29.9C. 

The fine weather continues on Sunday for the North Island with most places enjoying a hot and sunny day. Auckland and Hamilton are forecast to see sun all day with a high of 28C while Tauranga has similar weather but a high of 26C.  

But Sunday also shows signs of a change in the weather, especially for the South Island. The West Coast and lower South Island will all see rain on Sunday.   

This has seen MetService issue weather warnings and watches for parts of the South Island as an active front is expected to bring brief heavy rain to the west of the South Island on Sunday.   

An orange heavy rain warning is in place for Fiordland about and north of George Sound, and Westland about and south of Haast until 4pm on Sunday.   

MetService said the area can expect a period of heavy rain, with rainfall amounts up 120mm.   

"Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous," MetService said.   

A heavy rain watch is also in place for Westland between Haast and Otira and the headwaters of the Otago Lakes and Rivers until Sunday afternoon and evening.   

MetService warns rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria for these areas.   

A strong wind watch is also in place for the Canterbury High Country until 4am on Monday with MetService saying northwest winds could approach severe gale in exposed places.  

Looking ahead to next week, the outlook isn't good reading with more rain on the way due to a front that will move slowly northwards onto the southern and central North Island on Monday, according to MetService.   

The forecasting agency added an increasingly humid northerly flow will affect northern New Zealand while a low originating in the subtropics should also move into the west of the upper North Island.  

"This combination should bring areas of heavy rain to the North Island, however there is uncertainty as to which areas will most likely be affected," the severe weather outlook on the  MetService website said.   

"Consequently, there is low confidence of rainfall amounts reaching warning criteria about many northern and western North Island areas from southern Northland through the central high country to Kapiti and the Tararua Range, including the Gisborne/Tairawhiti region. Localised downpours are also possible."  

The rain should continue on Tuesday and Wednesday for the central and upper North Island with MetService saying there is "low confidence" on both days of heavy rain and thunderstorms.  

The forecasting agency added there is continuing uncertainty about which areas may be affected by heavy rain. 

Temperatures forecast for Sunday by MetService:  

  • Auckland: 28C
  • Hamilton: 28C
  • Tauranga: 26C
  • Wellington: 22C
  • Christchurch: 29C
  • Dunedin: 21C
  • Queenstown: 21C