Saturday was the first day of the lifesaving season in New Zealand.
This has been the first El Niño summer in about seven-eight years, so Surf Lifesaving New Zealand are anticipating large crowds. Lifeguards are preparing for increased activity this summer and remind beachgoers to swim between the flags and stay safe in the water.
Beachgoers should remember to bring sunblock, water to keep hydrated, and some kind of flotation device, check in with the lifeguards before they enter the water and “always swim or surf with someone else between the red and yellow flags”.
Climate scientists expect this summer to bring more westerly winds than usual and frequent spells of unseasonable warmth from Australia, possibly leading to hot temperatures.
However, dry weather is also expected, especially in the north and east of both islands, except for the west of the South Island, which may experience wetter than usual conditions.