Eastern South Island climate

Kaikoura, Christchurch, Timaru

The climate of this zone is greatly dependent on the lie of the massive Southern Alps to the west. Summer temperatures are warm, with highest temperatures occurring when hot dry foehn northwesterlies blow over the Alps and plains. Mean annual rainfall is low, and long dry spells can occur, especially in summer. For much of the time summer temperatures are moderated by a cool northeasterly sea breeze. Typical summer daytime maximum air temperatures range from 18°C to 26°C, but may rise to more than 30°C. A temperature of 42°C has been recorded in Christchurch. Winters are cold with frequent frost. Typical winter daytime maximum air temperatures range from 7°C to 14°C. Northeasterlies prevail about the coast for much of the year. Southwesterlies are more frequent during winter.

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