Southern temperatures soar
Sunhats are out and sprinklers working over time as record October temperatures hit the south.
About 9km west of Otematata, in the Waitaki District, temperatures reached 30.1degC on Thursday, with Cromwell, in Central Otago, reaching 28.6degC - the second warmest October temperature since records began in 1949.
Niwa’s Ben Noll said an immense dome of high pressure had stretched across the Tasman Sea onto the South Island, bringing the highest temperatures across New Zealand since April.
‘‘Temperatures soared well into the 20s, and one climate station in the Waitaki District topped 30 degrees.
‘‘While the well above average temperatures were driven by a flow of air originating in Australia, drier than usual conditions from September into October across these areas may have given temperatures an extra boost.’’
Queenstown experienced a 25-day dry spell, the longest since 2014. A dry spell was a period of at least 15 consecutive days with less than one millimetre of rain per day, Noll said.
Other high temperatures included Clyde, 28degC, Alexandra, 27.8degC, Lauder, 27.3degC and Ranfurly, 25.1degC.
The warmest October temperature on record in New Zealand occurred in 1914 in Timaru when the temperature reached 32.8 degrees on October 10.