NZ weather: Southerly change to see temperatures drop around the country on Sunday

Kiwis who've enjoyed scorching hot weather over the last week are going to get a sharp change with a cold snap bringing chillier temperatures on Sunday.  

The east coast of the South Island and parts of the North Island have been basking in the summer weather, with temperatures in the low-to-mid thirties this week. 

On Waitangi Day, the small South Island town of Cheviot, north of Christchurch, recorded a temperature of 36.3 degrees, according to NIWA, while Masterton had its fourth hottest February day on record with a high of 34.7C.  

But many places will see a stark change to the temperatures on Sunday, particularly in the lower North Island and the South Island.  

NIWA said a southerly change is sweeping through New Zealand, "flushing out the warmth".  

"Exported straight from the Southern Ocean, this airmass is dry and cold," NIWA said.   

This is expected to bring showers, a "sharp" temperature drop and the chance of lightning for the South Island and lower North Island.   

In the North Island, Masterton recorded a temperature of 27C on Saturday but on Sunday it'll drop to 17C. It's similar for Wellington, who recorded 22C on Saturday but will have a temperature drop of six degrees on Sunday.   

In the South Island, the drop in temperatures is even more stark. Christchurch recorded a temperature of 26C on Saturday but it'll drop down to 16C on Sunday.   

Blenheim is forecast to reach 22C on Sunday after a scorching 28C day on Saturday. For Ashburton, residents will see a temperature of just 16C on Sunday, eight degrees lower than Saturday.   

But for the central and upper North Island, temperatures should still be in the mid-twenties on Sunday for most places.  

Hamilton and Kaitaia are forecast to reach a temperature of 23C while Whangārei, Auckland and Rotorua are all expected to reach 22C. But the pick of the bunch is Tauranga, with an expected high of 25C.   

MetService short forecast for Sunday

Northland to Taranaki, including Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Taupo and Taumarunui  

Fine, apart from isolated early morning showers.  

Gisborne and Hawke's Bay  

Fine apart from the odd shower, mainly about the coast.  

Whanganui to Wellington, including Taihape and Wairarapa  

Showers, becoming confined to Taihape and Wairarapa this morning and fine spells increasing elsewhere. Showers clearing everywhere by evening.  

Marlborough and Nelson  


Canterbury and Otago  

Isolated showers clearing to fine this afternoon.  

Buller, Westland and northern Fiordland  

Fine, apart from a few showers near Westport this morning.  

Southland and southern Fiordland  

Showers becoming isolated this morning, then clearing in the afternoon.  

Chatham Islands  

Occasional showers.