Region enjoys mixed weather

Strong gales, sunshine and rain for Canterbury

NATASHA THYNE AND FAIRFAX
Last updated 05:00 01/08/2014
timaru weather
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ
FUN IN THE SUN: Emma and Kate Doig with 6-week-old Nixon Doig-Tuite made the most of the warm weather in Timaru yesterday with a walk along Caroline Bay.

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South Canterbury experienced four seasons in one yesterday.

Parts of the region battened down the hatches for strong winds and rain, while others experienced temperatures more like summer.

MetService reported yesterday was one of the hottest July days on record for Timaru, reaching 21 degrees Celsius at 4pm.

Temperatures were forecast to drop to 5C overnight and reach 21C again today.

Fairlie also had high temperatures yesterday, recording 19C at 4.30pm.

However, the town experienced strong gales which knocked down a tree on State Highway 8 near Cricklewood Rd, Fairlie police Senior Constable Russell Halkett said.

No-one was out on the mountains at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park as the conditions were too wet - with more than 50mm of rain recorded - and windy.

Winds reached 130kmh in the Mueller Hut area and the temperature was 11C at about 4.30pm.

Visitor centre ranger Lynne Woods said people wanting to walk through the park were told to be cautious and to have good wet weather gear.

Tekapo also had a mix of weather, with fine and rainy patches throughout the day.

Earth and Sky general manager Margaret Munro said there had been wind at varying speeds, but the cafe had not had too close.

However, the cafe was closed the previous night and depending on how strong the wind would became tours may have to be cancelled, she said.

A light fall of snow is also forecast for Tekapo on Sunday.

Strong winds in Waimate yesterday morning forced a schoolbus driver to stop his run.

Driver Bill McKenzie, who picks up pupils and students for Waimate High and primary schools, said winds blew him off the road twice.

"It's better be safe than sorry. You get thrown around in the bus at the best of times."

Power was cut to Waimate at 7.48am yesterday because of the wind, but was restored before 8.30am.

Strong gusts are expected across inland South Canterbury until tomorrow night.

Timaru police Senior Sergeant Mark Offen said police had dealt with wheelie bins being knocked over during Wednesday night and motion sensors on car alarms had been set off.

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- The Timaru Herald

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