Temperatures soar down south
Updated 1:55PM Monday Sep 14, 2009

Temperatures of 26degC were recorded in Oamaru. File photo / The Oamaru Mail

Summer temperatures have rocketed across the South Island today as a nor'wester kicks into gear, with Timaru reaching a staggering 27 degrees at lunchtime.

Philip Duncan at the Weather Watch Centre said Oamaru is just one degree behind on 26 degrees with Dunedin on 24. Blenheim has 23 degrees while Christchurch and Queenstown have 22. Gisborne is on 21 with Kaikohe, Hastings, Akaroa and Wanaka all on 20.

Auckland and Timaru both have 19 and are tipped to reach 20 this afternoon.

Mr Duncan said the temperatures are out of season. "Spring has only just started and to many scientists it is still technically considered winter for another week or so but temperatures today, right across New Zealand, are painting a completely different picture," he said.

"Today's daily highs may have some record breakers in it."

Christchurch experienced a "freakish" jump in temperature thanks to the nor'wester. Temperatures jumped from 9C to 21C in just 20 minutes, said WeatherWatch.co.nz's Richard Green.

More here.