Thunderbolts and lightning? A mixed bag for Aotearoa weather as 2021 sets in

The first day of 2021 will be fine for much of New Zealand- but some areas will see rain and thunderstorms as the new year begins.

MetService has forecast fine weather for all of the North Island, Nelson and Marlborough.

There will be a few areas of morning cloud and isolated afternoon and evening showers for northern, central and eastern regions and for the ranges of Nelson and Marlborough.

But otherwise the north of the country will have a fine day.

Buller and Westland can expect less pleasant conditions, with cloudy periods and isolated showers.

Rain should start developing in southern Westland this afternoon and elsewhere this evening.

In Canterbury, there will be scattered showers starting this afternoon, with isolated thunderstorms, possible downpours and hail inland.

The Otago, Southland and Fiordland areas will remain cloudy with scattered showers, turning to rain this afternoon with heavy falls possible.

And over in the Chatham Islands today is expected to be fine with cloudy periods.

As of 7am, the warmest place in the land was the Port Hills in Christchurch, which was sitting on a mild 15.7 degrees.

The chilliest spot was Taumarunui, with a slightly less mild 10.1 degrees.

The rest of the weekend isn’t looking flash – so Kiwis may have to rethink their picnic, beach and outdoor plans.

On Saturday, there will be showers for most of the North Island – some heavy with thunderstorms and downpours possible.

In the South Island, there will be rain in the south, heaviest for eastern Otago.

And showers are expected elsewhere, though only isolated in Marlborough, Nelson and north Canterbury.

Sunday is more rain, with showers for most of the North Island – possibly heavy and thundery in the afternoon in the north and east.

These should clear to fine in the south in the evening.

The rain continues in the South Island on Sunday in the south and west, but will be fine elsewhere apart from afternoon showers about the ranges.

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