The south of the South Island saw temperatures creep up to or
over the 30 degree mark today, and the North Island can
expect high temperatures tomorrow, according to
WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Richard Green.
Sweltering temperatures hit the south with Dunedin Airport
topping the stakes at 34 degrees. Alexandra was on 33, Timaru
reached 32 and Ashburton, Hanmer Springs, Culverden and
Queenstown all hit 30.
The main centre highs were:
• Auckland 25 degrees
• Tauranga 25 degrees
• Hamilton 26 degrees
• Wellington 24 degrees
• Christchurch 25 degrees
• Dunedin City 26 degrees
• Invercargill 28 degrees
The fire risk was climbing and eastern parts of the North
Island and inland and eastern areas of the South Island was
already high to very high in places.
Water temperatures were also increasing around the country
and were above average across some northern and central
beaches, Mr Green said.
Meanwhile, the South Island was still drying out after days
of heavy rain that washed away a bridge and caused holiday
The West Coast's main road is closed for at least another
three days, and railway lines have been shut down.
The wild weather washed out Wanganui River bridge at
Harihari, south of Hokitika, on Wednesday, splitting the
coast in half, and causing holidaymakers to make massive
The New Zealand Transport Agency said Wanganui bridge would
be closed at least until midday next Tuesday.
The latest flooding victims have been trains, with several
railway lines being shut down yesterday.
KiwiRail said it was continuing to assess and repair damage
at a number of sites on the West Coast.
The railway line between Christchurch and Greymouth, and
through the Buller Gorge remained closed and all train
services had been cancelled.
The section of line running through the Buller Gorge has been
particularly hard hit, with the difficult terrain in the area
hampering access by track workers to assess the situation and
begin the repair job.
Several bridges had been damaged, one significantly, and
slips and washouts had damaged track at a number of
locations, a spokeswoman said.
It was anticipated the line between Christchurch and
Greymouth will be back in operation within two to three days,
allowing the resumption of the Tranz Alpine and freight
services across the Southern Alps.
Coach services are in place for passengers with bookings on
the Tranz Alpine.
However, the section through the Buller Gorge will take
longer for repairs to be completed, and coal services from
the Westport area may not resume for at least a week.