Be warned, rain is on its way

BREATHTAKING: Sunrise over Brighton pier
BREATHTAKING: Sunrise over Brighton pier

The mild weather enjoyed for the last few days is forecast to end this afternoon when a south-westerly change brings rain to Christchurch.

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The MetService is warning the rain will arrive about midday and peak mid-afternoon. Temperatures of about 17 degrees Celsius will plummet to single figures.

However, the cool wet weather is set to be short-lived with dry skies returning tomorrow.

The weekend will be a mixed bag with a warm, dry Saturday perfect for winter sports, with cool westerly rain on Sunday. A frost is forecast for Sunday night. 

The MetService has also warned of strong northwest winds reaching 110kmh on Friday morning, particularly in the lee of the Southern Alps, MetService communications meteorologist John Law said.

Elsewhere heavy rain in Fiordland has hampered search efforts for a 22-year-old Sydney woman who had been walking the Milford Track. She was swept into the Clinton River late on Monday afternoon after falling into the bloated, fast moving, icy waters of the Pompolona Creek.

It was pouring with rain at the time and police said the weather continued to prevent any search today. Overnight the Clinton River peaked at 2.2 metres, compared to its normal operational safe level of 25cm. This morning it was still at 1.8m but was expected to ease tonight.

MetService said 200mm of rain fell at Milford Sound in the 36 hours to this morning, with 150mm at Franz Josef Glacier.

Today rain had eased in Fiordland and Westland south of the glaciers, but further significant heavy rain was expected to set in tomorrow ahead of a strengthening northwest flow. As much as 200mm could fall from tomorrow afternoon to noon Friday.

Meanwhile, Press readers are posting outstanding pictures of the recent sunrises enjoyed in Christchurch and Canterbury. The stunning picture above of the sunrise over New Brighton pier was sent by Jayne Smith.

The Press