Sunshine arrives for a week

00:13, Jan 27 2013

Southerners have spent the weekend soaking up the sun.

MetService duty forecaster Larissa Marimtchemko said the whole country could expect a week of warm temperatures and sunshine as a slow-moving high made its way across New Zealand.

Invercargill tipped 27 degrees Celsius yesterday and is expected to be as warm today, while the rest of Southland also sweltered.

Temperatures are expected to remain high for the next week.

Despite Southland's chilly reputation, a spell of good weather was not unusual for this time of year, Ms Marimtchemko said.

Southlanders were out en masse yesterday, soaking up the sun in shorts, sunglasses and sandals.

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Danica Moyce, relaxing in Wachner Place yesterday afternoon, said she was happy summer had finally arrived and the sun was out.

"It's beautiful. It doesn't happen here often."

She planned to hit the beach and chill out in her backyard while the good weather lasted.

The adage that the good weather arrives just as school holidays finish could be on the button this year, with many Southland schools resuming lessons next week.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla Young, out with friends Sharna Hamlin and Tyla Hunt in Invercargill, said she was not looking forward to returning to the classroom now the temperatures were rising.

"I hate being at school when it's hot. You get too hot in your uniform."

However, the sunshine was causing other concerns for city shoppers yesterday.

Ainsley Ficks said the hot weather brought the threat of sunburn with it, and Southlanders needed to be careful.

"That's the downside to it. It's pretty hot out there."

Cancer Society Southland health promotion co-ordinator Sarah Chisnell said it was important to slip, slop, slap and wrap when out in the sun, and to cover up with broad-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts, as well as using SPF30-plus sunscreen.

"One big thing to remember is that sunscreen shouldn't be the sole source of protection against sunburn." She recommended relaxing in shaded areas, and putting sunscreen on even when it was overcast.

MetService said the sun would hold out until next weekend, when showers would drift across most of the province and Central Otago, except Queenstown.

lauren.hayes@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times