The sticky days and nights of February are making way for an autumn change.

MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray says it's likely the extreme heat and humidity marking the final weeks of summer will be replaced by slightly cooler weather, but above-average temperatures are still expected for the North Island and the upper South Island.

This is related in part to extremely warm coastal seas.

Ms Murray warns March is a volatile month where temperatures traditionally swing dramatically as cold fronts head up from the south.

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"It's worth paying attention to forecasts when you're deciding what to wear in the mornings, because if you have a cold southerly coming through you will feel the nip."