Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Kiwis bask in sun as temperatures soar

Many parts of the country have been enjoying soaring temperatures. Photo / iStock
Many parts of the country have been enjoying soaring temperatures. Photo / iStock

Slip, slop and slap is the key message of the day, as soaring temperatures continue in many parts of the country today.

Christchurch is the hottest place to be, with a temperature high of 32.8C. Although that brings a hot day, the highest temperature ever recorded in the city was in February, 1973, when it hit an eye-watering 40C.

Blenheim is the second hottest place in the country, with a high of 31.1C, followed closely by Hastings, 31C and other areas including Dunedin, which this morning saw temperatures reach 24C. Rain and winds later this afternoon, however, has seen the heat drop in the last few hours in Dunedin.

Aucklanders have been basking in the sun today, with a temperature high of 24.3C and similar conditions in other areas including Wellington, Tauranga, Whangarei and Rotorua.

MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray said tropical weather systems north of New Zealand had led to very muggy and humid conditions here.

"That's generally why we're having -- especially in northern areas -- this warm February.

"It's really the overnight temperatures that are contributing to that. We've had this really warm, humid air from these different systems in the tropics that have pushed this air down over [to us]."

Ms Murray said some places were seeing their long-term temperature average -- which includes both day and overnight temperatures -- on track to beat previous February records.

Places including Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin were on track to beat their February long-term temperature records.

But she said with a few days left in the month, including the extra 29th day this year, things could change for other places as well.

"We can't talk about breaking records yet because we still have a few days to go."

High temps today:

• Auckland: 24.3C
• Napier: 29C
• Hastings: 31C
• Hamilton: 25.9C
• Tauranga: 25.1C
• Wellington: 23.9C
• Christchurch: 32.8C (hottest in the country)
• Whangarei: 26C
• Rotorua: 24C
• Masterton: 30C
• Dunedin: 24.C
• Blenheim, 31.1C. (second hottest)

• Coolest: Gore, 14.9C

- NZ Herald

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