Official figures have confirmed that this summer is already the hottest on record, with four days still to go.
Summer temperatures have been 2.3°C hotter than average, 0.5° above the previous record, which dated back more than 80 years.
With summer not yet ended, it was likely the record-breaking average would push higher.
The big driver has been the higher ocean temperature. Oceans around New Zealand have been two to four degrees above average and in some parts of New Zealand six or seven degrees above average.
These freakishly warmer seas, together with northerly winds from the tropics and sub-tropics, have ratcheted up the temperature and that was expected to continue through autumn, he said.
NIWA have said that the country may continue to bask in warmer temperatures through autumn because because oceans cool more slowly than land.
Summer statistics so far this summer :
– Across New Zealand 108 places recorded their hottest summer on record, 21 their second hottest and eight their third hottest.
– In Alexandra on 30 January the temperature reached 38.7°. On the same day Clyde got to 37.6°, Middlemarch 37.4° and Cheviot 37.3° – together these comprise the hottest temperatures of summer.
– Wellington has had 17 days above 25° this summer – the average is two.
– Auckland usually has 29 summer days above 25°, this year there have been 47.
– Invercargill recorded three consecutive days over 30° in January. It’s never done that for two days in a row, let alone three.
– Cromwell has topped 25° for 56 days – normal is 35 days.