Hail, thunder forecast for Canterbury
ASHLEIGH STEWART AND ANNA TURNER
Summer may officially start on Saturday but Canterbury is in for some nasty weather tomorrow.
A MetService forecast issued at 10.30am today said hail, showers and possibly even thunderstorms were heading for Canterbury and Otago tomorrow.
"Cold, showery southwesterlies are expected to spread over the South Island on Thursday," the warning read.
"Afternoon heating should lead to scattered heavy showers developing over the eastern areas of Canterbury and Otago, with a low risk of isolated thunderstorms."
Hail was likely with the heavier showers, and the size of hailstones could reach 5 to 10 millimetres.
A high of 15 degrees Celsius was expected in Christchurch.
MetService duty forecaster Erick Brenstrum said while it was "possible" there would be some hail in the city, it was more likely to be inland.
"You could see some pea-size hail but it is much more likely to be inland of Christchurch."
The weather will start to clear on Friday, and is expected to be warm for the Santa Parade on Sunday.
MetService forecasts a 26C high for Christchurch on Sunday, with possible evening showers.
More than 100,000 people are expected to line Riccarton streets to catch a glimpse of the man in red at the 65th annual Santa Parade.
Fireman Sam, Pikachu and a convoy of floats, dancers and bands will travel down Riccarton Rd on Sunday afternoon on the parade's revamped route.
Last year, organisers had to overcome several challenges to arrange the parade on the new route, with the traditional Colombo St route no longer suitable after the earthquakes.
Parade manager Pam Morris said despite last year's obstacles, the parade had been "very popular".
"It was a challenge. But it turned out to be good, and it had a nice, warm feeling about it," Morris said.
Special guests this year include the New Zealand Army Band and Paralympics "golden girl" Sophie Pascoe.
Representatives of the emergency services involved in post-quake work will also join the parade to provide a "chance for the people of Christchurch to show their appreciation".
- The Press