Boxing Day weather: Summer takes a break as cold conditions, rain sets in across New Zealand

Unseasonably cold temperatures can be expected throughout many parts of the country this weekend as southerly winds bring rain.

Temperatures are set to plummet for many, with Ashburton’s high for today only expected to reach 13C – 8C below average for this time of year.

And a winter wonderland has arrived in the South Island, with snow forecast to fall down to 1000 metres.

A low weather system over North Canterbury this morning is expected to deepen, spreading rain and strong southerly winds over coastal parts of the region.

The heaviest rainfalls are expected about the Banks Peninsula and MetService has issued a weather watch for the area – they might reach warning levels.

Generally, the weather in the South Island is the opposite from the North Island, with showery weather in the south and fine conditions in the north.

However, Northland and Auckland can expect a few morning showers before breaking out into mainly fine weather.

The Coromandel Peninsula to Manawatu, including Bay of Plenty and the central high country is mainly fine but a few showers in the west.

Conditions are fine at first before showers from afternoon or evening with possible thunderstorms in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

There are fine spells and a few showers for Horowhenua, Kapiti and Wellington, also Wairarapa. Thunderstorms are possible this morning about Wellington and Kapiti.

Marlborough, Nelson, and Buller will see showers and fine spells, with showers more frequent and heavier from this afternoon.

Westland is fine before heavy showers appear inland from the afternoon.

Periods of rain will sometimes be heavy and thunderstorms are possible about the high country in Canterbury this afternoon.

Otago, Southland, and Fiordland can expect scattered showers this morning before they ease away in the afternoon.

On Sunday, there will be scattered rain or showers developing for most in the North Island, with cold southerlies in the south and east.

In the South Island, conditions are partly cloudy or fine for most.

Canterbury through to Marlborough can expect to see rain and cold southerlies, meanwhile, Nelson and Buller will see a few afternoon showers.

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