Rural areas that sit at the foot of the Southern Alps, from Twizel through to Hanmer Springs, are likely to become some of the country’s drought hotspots.
As our region gets hotter, it will also get drier and windier. This combination means that in the Mackenzie district, fire risk is projected to increase by about 10 per cent per decade, and the fire season, which has traditionally been the summer months, could become longer.
By 2090 the number of snow days at Aoraki Mt Cook is projected to decrease by up to 30 days per year. There might be more rain in winter instead. Snow might also melt more quickly, particularly on lower slopes, which would make alpine rivers run higher and faster particularly in winter and spring.