‘Feeling Hot Hot Hot’

The heatwave New Zealand is experiencing has the country on track for the hottest month since records began in 1909.

The record for the hottest ever month is an average 19.61 degrees Celsius set in February 1998.

Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said with warm weather predicted until the end of the month, that record was under threat.

“So far in January 2018 we’re tracking in the first 23 days at (more than) 19 degrees Celsius.”

Data collected by Niwa’s nationwide seven-station series showed January was also likely to break the record for warmest month compared with normal.

The record is from December 1934, when the national average temperature was 2.67 degrees Celsius hotter than normal.

“January 2018 is warmer than that,” Mr Noll said.

“So far the temperature is tracking on average to be warmer than 2.7 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.

“It’s close to 3 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, so that’s quite a significant number when you get to be several degrees above average in terms of a nationwide temperature.”

MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said the hottest places would be in Wairarapa and Central Otago.

“We’ve got forecast 33 degrees Celsius in Masterton and 33 degrees Celsius in Alexandra, so they would be the two hotspots.”

Temperatures are likely to edge up further early next week.

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