Wet start to Cup and Show Week

Brollies will be an essential accessory for at least the first part of Cup and Show Week.

Umbrellas are an indispensable part of the wardrobes of the best-dressed men in damper climates overseas, and forecasters say they could be handy for Tuesday's Cup Day at Addington.

Changeable spring weather looks far more likely than a run of the warm nor'westerly conditions traditionally associated with Canterbury's big week.

MetService spokesman Dan Corbett said the systems were lining up to bring a wet and cool start to the week.

However, from mid-week and towards Show Day there were signs of improving conditions, although a depression to the west of the country would determine the weather.

''I would say keep the brollies handy at first,'' he said.

''You'll get that onshore flow from late Sunday and through Monday and probably Tuesday, so it'll be cloudy and wet, although perhaps not rain all the time, but certainly showery.

''You lose that onshore flow through Wednesday and Thursday, so let's be optimistic at this point and say the weather could be getting better towards the end of the week.

''By Thursday and Friday it may be dry, with brighter spells.''

Temperatures for much of the week would peak at between 13 and 15 degrees Celsius but could rise higher if a nor'wester developed later in the week, he said.

Christchurch International Airport recorded an air minimum of -2C this morning, the second-coldest November temperature since records began there in 1953.

The coldest, -2.6C, was on November 6, 2008.

The airport also recorded a grass minimum of -4.2C.

Temperatures in the Botanic Gardens were a tad warmer, with an air minimum of 2C and a grass minimum of -2.3C.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research senior climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said it had been unusually cold.

"We've had lots of negatives around the country in the last few days, especially inland. This is an unusually late cold spell - an unusually late frost," she said.

Tonight is not expected to be frosty, with a minimum temperature of 6C predicted before a warmer day tomorrow and a possible high in the low 20s.

The Press