Parts of South set to sizzle

If it feels like you're living in an oven over the weekend, you won't be wrong because a ridge of high pressure is set to roast the nation.

Following a burst of nasty weather which thumped parts of the South Island yesterday, a hot weekend is likely with many places expected to hit 30C.

Extreme wind gusts in Central Otago and Canterbury cut power to thousands and even created surf spots on the usually placid Lake Wakatipu.

Surfers in Queenstown packed up their boards and wetsuits and caught a couple of sets on the lake near Fernhill.

Meanwhile, parts of Kaikōura and Canterbury were without power this morning after being hit by extreme wind gusts of up to 170km/h overnight.

Looking forward, a ridge of high pressure will build over New Zealand tomorrow, inviting largely settled conditions for much of the country.

However, a trough is forecast to linger over the upper North Island in the afternoon, triggering isolated showers from Bay of Plenty to Northland.

Metservice meteorologist Rob Kerr said warm northwesterly winds would rise over the South Island on Saturday as the ridge stalls over the upper North Island.

"Areas of heavy rain are forecast for the West Coast of the South Island, with gales affecting eastern parts of the South Island and lower North Island," he said.

"The warm air blown in by the northwesterlies parks up over New Zealand on Sunday, and temperatures across the country are expected to soar, with many places expected to break the 30°C barrier during the afternoon.

"The high humidity is likely to mean some uncomfortable nights as we start the working week, with minimum temperatures around 20°C for many places."

The hot weather isn't set to subside after the weekend either, WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasting many regions to have daily highs between 27 and 32C.

Next week looks to be consistently warmer than this week but another cool period is due in the deep south towards Thursday afternoon or Friday.

Those heading outdoors throughout the country over the next of days are advised to fine shade, drink plenty of water and apply ample amounts of sunscreen.

MetService predicts fine weather for both the Black Clash at Hagley Oval in Christchurch tomorrow and the Black Caps ODI at the Bay Oval on Saturday.

Across the ditch, Australia looks set to sweat as an extreme heatwave brings temperatures of up to 45C across some parts.

Earlier this afternoon, Adelaide broke an 80-year heat record when the mercury hit a scouring 46.2C.

WeatherWatch.co.nz's hottest places from Sunday, through next week

• Northern Southland: Mid to late 20s

• Central Otago: Low 30s

• Canterbury: Late 20s, possibly 30

• Nelson & Marlborough: 30 to 34

• Gisborne and Hawke's Bay and eventually Manawatu: Late 20s, early 30s

• King Country: Early 30s

• Waikato: Around 30

• Auckland: Mid to late 20s (overnight lows around 20 too)

• BOP: Late 20s, possibly 30 inland

• Northland: Late 20s

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