4 Dec 2017

Sizzling hot weather here to stay

1:36 pm on 4 December 2017

Hot weather is continuing to blanket the country today, with temperatures of more than 30 degrees in some areas.

A ridge of high pressure has brought hot and dry weather to most of the country for several days.

People were turned away at Auckland's Parnell Baths yesterday as it reached capacity, with people trying to cool off from the heat.

MetService said Alexandra and Clyde in Central Otago will reach 31 degrees today, Masterton will get to 30 degrees and Christchurch 29 degrees.

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Meteorologist Hannah Moes said the ridge which has been over the country for a couple of weeks is starting to move east, but the hot weather should stick around for the rest of the week.

"There is a bit of a respite for the eastern centres on Wednesday, a very weak southerly will come through but it will still be warm with temperatures in the 20s, just not as high as 30.

"Comparing temperatures from this year to last year, this year we are in the late 20s to early 30s, whereas at the start of summer last year temperatures were in the mid to late teens."

Temperatures throughout New Zealand are also an average two degrees warmer due to La Niña, which causes high pressure.

Ocean temperatures off the West Coast are reaching levels that are 6.5 degrees more than normal, and is expected to rise even further his summer.

Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll says things could get even hotter.

Mr Noll said high pressure made the ocean more stagnant, allowing it to warm up quickly.