Summer seesaw leaves residents hot and yet cold
Christchurch residents enjoyed a hot start to the year, but don't rely on the statistics to tell you that.
While the city sweltered in temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius or above about once every five days on average last month, some cooler-than-normal nights offset the overall picture.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) statistics for Christchurch International Airport show January's temperatures were only a tad above normal, with a mean of 17.4C, 0.2C higher than the long-term average.
Christchurch's average daily maximum of 23.7C was 1.1C above usual, but the city's 11.1C average daily minimum was 0.8C colder than normal.
There were six days when the mercury peaked at 30C or climbed higher - January 9, 12, 13, 19, 23 and 31 - with the month's maximum temperature of 32C recorded on the 12th and 31st. Another six days had maximums between 25C and 30C.
In contrast, January 18 was cold, with a high of 13.2C.
Last month was confirmed by Niwa as the sunniest January on record in Christchurch, with 288.9 hours of sunshine at the airport.
It was the second sunniest month recorded in the city, behind December 1988 at 295 hours.
The month's rainfall of 37 millimetres was about average.
A cold southerly has put an end to the sunny spell of the past few weeks.
Temperatures will be unseasonably cold today, with MetService predicting a top of about 15C, with showers and chilly winds.
Fine weather should return for Waitangi Day tomorrow, with a high of 19C, before another large high-pressure system brings several days of sun later in the week and temperatures in the low to mid-20s.