Get ready for a scorcher of a day

By Kiri Gillespie

Today could be the hottest yet for Tauranga this summer as a trans-tasman high brings warm, dry conditions to the region, expected to last for the rest of summer.

Weather forecasters predict a high of 31C for the Western Bay of Plenty, with little rain expected all week. The warm, dry air was moving across the Tasman from Australia where residents have been battling fires as record temperatures brought sweltering heat.

Already temperatures in New Zealand have reached as high as 35C in areas such as Otago and Southland.

Metservice forecaster Philippa Murdoch said Tauranga's temperature would dip to the mid-20s to early-20s from tomorrow but the weather would remain mostly fine.

"Tuesday's looking fine and Wednesday is dry with a few cloudy periods and there will be a little bit of early morning drizzle on Thursday but mainly fine, and it will be dry by Friday." analyst Richard Green said most of New Zealand could expect warm, settled weather until the end of February - a distant memory from the wet, cold conditions that plagued holidaymakers last summer.

A ridge of high pressure moving over both sides of the country at the end of the week would deliver settled, warm weather for the weekend.

Mr Green said there was the potential for hot temperatures to move up from the South Island towards the end of January.

"In comparing this summer and last, this one is considerably drier, sunnier and a little warmer."

The risk had dropped for Cyclone Freda, which struck the Solomon Islands last month, to head towards New Zealand.


-With APNZ

- Bay of Plenty Times

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