Canterbury's had so much rain and snow - is there more to come?

A pedestrian battles through a rainy Cathedral Square on Monday.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF

A pedestrian battles through a rainy Cathedral Square on Monday.

Rain-sodden Cantabrians can look forward to a clement spring to follow their drenching winter.

Meteorologists at Crown research institute NIWA said the region should expect higher than average temperatures and just an average amount of rain until the end of October.

The more pleasant spring would follow a winter that has brought Christchurch about 240 millimetres of rain since the start of June and heavy falls in mid and south Canterbury.

A street in Akaroa is flooded from heavy rain on Monday.
AKAROA VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE

A street in Akaroa is flooded from heavy rain on Monday.

"It certainly does look like there'll be some improvement," said Niwa meteorologist Seth Carrier.

"There might be a few wet days, but it's a pretty good bet that we'll have a decent number of westerlies, which bring dry weather to Canterbury."

The winter's rainfall in the city to date has been four times last years', with three months' average rainfall coming down in the past month. Riverside and low-lying suburbs have flooded repeatedly.

Takamatua, Banks Peninsula, on Monday.
SUPPLIED

Takamatua, Banks Peninsula, on Monday.

According to MetService the city had 37mm of rain on Monday, Akaroa had a month's rain in a day with a fall of 116mm by early evening, while Methven recorded a little more than 100mm.

Carrier said that while the winter had been one of the rainiest for a few years, it was far from one of the wettest on record.

"This year has been pretty wet, but it probably feels even wetter because the last few years have been so dry," Carrier said.

The Opuha Saddle chairlift buried deep in snow at the Mt Dobson Ski Field on Monday
ROSS BAXTER

The Opuha Saddle chairlift buried deep in snow at the Mt Dobson Ski Field on Monday

"It feels very rainy to people because they're comparing it with the past few winters."

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Christchurch's rainfall record of 329mm between June 1 and mid-August was set in 1977, and about 20 winters since records were first kept in 1873 have had more rain than has fallen this year. Both 2008 and 2013 had wetter winters than this year.

The Canterbury high country had also had plenty of snow this year. While snow is harder than rain for meteorologists to measure, road closures and the depth of skifield snow bases indicate heavier than usual falls.

Conditions on Monday closed the region's two biggest fields, Mt Hutt and Porters ski areas, with Mt Hutt receiving nearly a metre of snow.

All of Christchurch City Council's 342 sports grounds were closed because of the wet conditions.

Council's parks unit manager Andrew Rutledge said that after such a wet winter, opening the grounds was a day-by-day decision, but with several days to go they could be open by the weekend.

 - Stuff

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