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Cold start to Anzac Day, with rain in the south

Apr 25, 2024

It was a chilly but dry start for most people up early on Thursday to attend Anzac Day services, particularly in some of the big centres.

Auckland's temperature dipped to single digits overnight, rising marginally to 10C for the start of the ceremony at 6am.

In Christchurch it got as low as 4.6C, rising to over 10C by 7am. Wellingtonians had the easiest start to the day in the main centres, staying a relatively moderate 14C through the night.

Aucklanders should expect rain to arrive overnight heading into Friday, which will continue through the morning before clearing that afternoon. Wellington will also get rain overnight, clearing by the morning, while it should remain largely dry in Christchurch.

On the West Coast of the South Island however, MetService put in place a heavy rain warning covering the ranges.

"Expect 70 to 90mm of rain. Peak intensities of 15 to 25mm/h, and possible thunderstorms. Note, further rain expected Thursday night and Friday morning."

This may cause streams and river levels to rise rapidly, MetService said, also warning of slips and hazardous driving conditions.

A strong wind warning was in place for the Canterbury High Country, up to 120km/h, and a strong wind watch covered the Southland, Central Otago and Fiordland regions. A heavy rain watch was in place for Fiordland on Thursday morning, with more expected that afternoon and evening.

"During Thursday morning a front should move onto the southern South Island, bringing strong northwesterly winds and heavy rain," MetService said.

"There is a moderate risk of thunderstorms embedded within the rain-band about Fiordland, the Otago headwaters near the main divide, and southern Westland with this front, and these thunderstorms are likely to be accompanied by localised heavy rain with intensities of 10mm to 25mm per hour.

"Note these thunderstorms will also be embedded within a strong northwest flow, but the storms are not expected to add significant gustiness.

"A low risk of thunderstorms spreads further north over the rest of Westland and east over Stewart Island."

The coldest start to Anzac Day was recorded in Timaru, where it dipped below 4C, while Queenstown was the wettest.

Main Image: Crowds line the streets at the 2024 Christchurch dawn service. Photo: RNZ/Nathan McKinnon

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