Updated – Saturday afternoon 12:55pm 1/02/2020.

Our weekend is set to be a scorcher, with temperatures set to soar into the mid-thirties for parts of the region on Sunday; there is now the increasingly change of very hot temperatures lingering through Monday next week, before a cooler southwest change provides some respite from the heat and sun during Tuesday afternoon and evening.

We have the perfect ‘recipe’ for our hottest days here in Canterbury, with a direct nor-westerly airflow set to carry a very hot ‘pool’ of air from northern parts of Australia and the sub tropics – this air will be incredibly dry and hot by the time it descends the Southern Alps and touched down across the Canterbury Plains & Coast.

In addition to our hot nor-westerly airflow, the Canterbury Plains and Coast will experience minimal high cloud cover, further enhancing the intensity of heat and sunshine.

At this stage eastern parts of North Canterbury will experience the most extreme heat, with the likes of Waiau, Cheviot, Culverden, Hanmer Springs, Greta Valley, Scargill, Hawarden, Rangiora, Amberley & Oxford possibly fighting it out for top honours, with temperatures likely to exceed 35 degrees. A few inland sheltered  eastern areas & ‘pockets’ in North Canterbury may nudge 37-38 degrees; extreme for New Zealand standards, it’s not completely out of the question a few spots could pip 40 degrees. An outside chance between Cheviot & Rangiora between 2pm and 4pm about eastern areas and sheltered areas.

While the above villages and towns may be fighting it out for top honours, this will be a widespread and intense period of heat, with Christchurch City set to nudge 34-36 degrees; it is quite possible 37 degrees could be registered in parts of the city around 4pm depending on wind strength and high cloud cover/thickness. 


In short; no. It’s going to be extremely hot across the region, our warmest day of the summer collectively. However, high cloud will play a role on Sunday and Monday; how extensive and ‘timing’ of our high cloud will be crucial on whether or not 33-35 degree highs are recorded, or the more extreme 36-38 degree high temperatures.  (At this stage we may see more extensive high cloud for a time before midday, especially south of Ashburton.)


•Parts of Canterbury are already experiencing a prolonged heat wave; with the likes of Twizel, Lake Tekapo, Culverden and Hammer Springs experiencing temperatures in the high twenties and early thirties for over 10 + days.

•This afternoon will be warm too, with quality sunshine hours – high twenties and early thirties for parts of the region; warmer inland, while NE winds will confine some coastal areas to around 24-25 degrees. Source your town page for specific temperatures.

•Heat and incredibly dry weather will continue through Monday and early stages of Tuesday next week, before a strong to gale force cool SW change Tuesday morning.  A number of towns and areas will push into the mid 30’s  again on Monday and high twenties during Tuesday morning.

•Local records are possible on Sunday and perhaps even on Monday. Stay tuned for the daily ‘highs’ Sunday evening. We’ll check in with Niwa for long standing data and possible records. Heat will also affect eastern parts of the North Island & Marlborough. 

•Freezing levels will be around 4400m on Sunday afternoon about the eastern areas. Aoraki/Mt Cook stands at 3724m. Average freezing levels are around 3300m in early February.

•It will be raining about the Main Divide/Headwaters from late Saturday, through Sunday – take care around our main river systems with origins about the Canterbury Headwaters.  The beach will be a safer option.

•Fire danger is extreme and is only going to get more dangerous over the coming weeks. Our monthly outlook for February will be issued this Saturday morning at 10am for all members providing the most comprehensive long-range analysis for the Canterbury Region. Droughts are now looking increasingly likely for parts of the region, with little respite, with just occasional weak southwest changes and small rainfall additions for eastern areas.

•Keep up to date with our town pages for specific temperatures in your area or town.


High pressure anomaly this weekend. Our high pressure will sit to the north of New Zealand directing very warm air across the country. GFS Model.


New Brighton – Credit. John Kirk Anderson.

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