Yes, it's warm, but not a record

While the ''H word'' (heat wave) might have been bandied about this week, Otago temperatures are not expected to be record-breaking.

A large, stalled high-pressure system is providing the region with a run of golden weather but the end was in sight. Rain was expected for some of next week, MetService spokesman Dan Corbett said.

''It'll slowly start to ease back by the weekend. Our charmed life is over.''

''Meanwhile, as expected, the region was enjoying warm temperatures. The heat was expected to peak today and tomorrow.

''I'd heard the H word mentioned. In the odd place in the valleys, it might be 33degC to 40degC.''

Temperatures would always be higher inland, as it was not affected by the cooling temperatures of the sea, Mr Corbett said.

Readings from unofficial Dunedin sites were often significantly higher than official sites in the Octagon and Musselburgh.

The high, combined with the northeast wind flow, also contributed to calm seas and the sea fog rolling in during the morning and evening, he said.

Niwa figures show Dunedin's mean temperature in January was 2degC above average, but the warm weather had not broken any daily January records so far.

Dunedin airport had come close with 34.1degC on the 5th, the second-highest since records began in 1962, Alexandra 34degC also on the 5th, the fourth-highest since 1983 and 29.4degC at Nugget Point on the 6th, the second-highest since 1970.

In the past 12 days, only 3.6mm of rain has fallen in Dunedin. Even less has fallen elsewhere in the region in a similar time, such as 0.4mm in Queenstown and 1mm at Oamaru. But heavy rain earlier in the month has put January's rainfall about normal or above, in most places.

The hot weather was starting to affect the city's water supplies. The Dunedin City Council had asked users to ease back on their outdoor use, especially on Otago Peninsula and at Waitati and Warrington.

Flows in Deep Stream, Deep Creek and Silverstream, which supplied the bulk of the city's water, were starting to drop, which could be a concern if the hot weather continued longer than forecast, Mr McCombie said.

''If people could ease back on their outdoor use it would be appreciated.''

The Otago Regional Council's water and rainfall website shows coastal rivers to have dropped significantly from their highs a fortnight ago but there were no alerts as yet.

Add a Comment