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Autumn weather starts to roll in to Christchurch

Philip Duncan blogs for about the weather for Christchurch

Dust may again be a problem for Christchurch tonight and again tomorrow as winds pick back up.

Yesterday the city was covered in dust as near gale force winds gusting over 80km/h blew liquefaction dust and particles of dry sewage into peoples eyes, noses and mouths – read this first hand account by reporter Paul Harper.

Winds tonight will be picking up from the west.  Tomorrow the winds will pick up further as our second Autumn system this week rolls through. It’s likely to bring hot air again and predicts highs of 27 to 30 degrees across Canterbury, with Christchurch aiming for 28 on Friday.

On Saturday the rain comes – this will stop the dust and give people a good chance to collect rain water. We’ve said before that collecting rain off the roof is the easiest way to do it, however with the recent dust storms it would be wise to let the rain fall for a while to “clean the roof” first. Remember this dust contains toxic particles including sewage.

Your best bet is to collect fresh rain water directly from the source – in buckets, pots, paddling pools – anything that hasn’t been exposed to the dust.

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A paddling pool might sound odd, but for those who don’t have clean running water the pool could be left out for when the sun returns next week and used to have a bath in.

Another idea is to get to the Warehouse or a camping store and buy solar showers. They are cheap – should be less than $20 – and on a sunny day they can be scorching hot.

The rain will also help clear the dust away causing it to wash off roads and back into the ground in some places. While not good for the search and rescue teams the rain will have some positive affects for the city, particularly in the form of fresh, clean, drinkable water and a form of helping clean up some of the dust issues.

The wet change on Saturday will be a cool one, with Sunday and Monday not looking especially warm – or pleasant for that matter, with plenty of cloud and rain or showers about. The sun returns on Tuesday – and should last until the end of the week.

Heavy rain will spread across much of New Zealand this weekend for a time … the weather patterns are changing and Autumn is now arriving.

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This blog has been edited slightly due to forecast updates

Homepage image / Paul Harper,


Celtickiwi on 3/03/2011 9:09am

I reckon, if I was a well to do farmer or an orchid/nursery owner and had some money in my back pocket I would donate a wad o’ money for some truck loads of that silt. It ought to be good mixed into the garden and compost, or spread over paddocks where farmers are trying to grow new grass. It would probably need to be from area’s where sewage hasn’t leaked into it though.

Hmmm, food for thought.

Jason on 3/03/2011 6:55am

Wont be as strong as yesterday though, and some rain will be welcome to dampen down any dust.

For anyone interested i captured the 4.6 quake on my video camera the other night 1st march 2011.
You might want to turn the volume up so you can hear the rumble etc, taken from my place in kaiapoi which wasnt as bad of a shake as it was in the city.
We have had several stronger quakes over the past week much more of a jolt than that one here.

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