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Fine weather to follow MetService Red Warning in Canterbury

Fine weather to follow MetService Red Warning in Canterbury

Posted May 31, 2021

Media Release: MetService

MetService is forecasting that the rain in Canterbury will ease today and clear during Tuesday, followed by several days of fine and dry weather for the region. This will allow river levels to slowly fall and floodwaters to drain away so the recovery can begin.

Although further rain is forecast for Canterbury during Monday and a Red Warning for Heavy Rain remains in place, the amounts forecast are only a fraction of what has already fallen. The Red Warning in Canterbury is set to lift at 7pm this evening, and although the heavy rain will have eased by then, there will be some lighter showers into Tuesday.

MetService Meteorologist Peter Little warns, “Although the rain is easing today and is forecast to clear during Tuesday, people still need to take care and follow the advice of local authorities as rivers will remain swollen for some time after the rain ceases, and floodwaters will also take time to recede.”

In a 48-hour period several weather stations in the Canterbury High Country recorded more than 300mm of rain, with one station receiving more than half a metre of rain during this event. Even weather stations about the coast and Plains received significant amounts of rain.

Little elaborates, “Christchurch recorded around 100mm of rain during this event, while Ashburton clocked up more than 150mm, which is more than two months’ worth of rain for these places.”

The complex area of low pressure that has been responsible for Canterbury’s big wet, moves away to the east of the country today, followed by a cool south to southwest flow on Tuesday and a ridge of high pressure. This change in weather regime will bring mostly fine weather to eastern parts of the country for the latter half of the week, while remaining areas will have a mix of sunshine and showers accompanied by west to southwest winds.

“MetService Red Warnings are reserved for only the most extreme weather events, where significant impact and disruption is expected,” Little explains, “The Canterbury Red Warning was only the second Red Warning issued by MetService (in consultation with Environment Canterbury and NEMA) since the colour coded warning system was introduced mid-2019. This was the first Red Warning issued for the Canterbury region.”