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.

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