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As the last of the 2018-19 New Zealand summer weather statistics trickle into Niwa's computers, climate scientists are predicting it will be one of the top five hottest summers on record.
Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said the official data would be released on Tuesday, but early indications were the average summer temperature would be "a near record'' one for parts of Otago and Southland, and New Zealand as a whole.
"We're crunching the numbers. The data is still trickling into the system and that takes a couple of days to wrap up.
"Based on preliminary work that we've been doing over the last couple of weeks, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a top-five finish for New Zealand.
"I know there's a couple of years that will be jockeying for position in that top five.''
Helping to drive the overall statistics were average temperatures in Dunedin, Oamaru, Lumsden, Tiwai Point and Southwest Cape, which were also tracking to have a near record warm summer season.
"It's pretty safe to say they, too, will be in the top five.''
Mr Noll said it was unlikely this summer would beat the 2017-18 summer, which was the warmest on record.
"That was so far away from the pack that it would be very
tough to beat.''
The previous record stood for 84 years before being melted away last summer.
The average temperature was 18.8degC - 2.1degC above the 1981-2010 average.
The figure beat the historical record, previously held by the 1934-35 summer, of 18.5degC.
Fifty-four locations around New Zealand- including Dunedin (Musselburgh) and Invercargill - recorded their hottest summer ever.
Thirty-nine recorded their second-hottest summer and nine recorded their third-hottest.