The Bay of Plenty is set to start off the New Year with beach-ready weather after record-breaking temperatures, low rainfall and loads of sunshine in 2019.

Metservice meteorologist April Clark said the Bay would have a good start to 2020.

A ridge of high pressure over the region is bringing settled weather with plenty of sun and a touch of wind today.

Tomorrow would see the wind pick up slightly in the Western Bay but the ridge would "keep hanging in there".

Advertisement

A front was due to move across the country on Friday but the region is set to be sheltered from much of the disruptive weather.

Looking back at 2019, temperature records were smashed, with most centres hitting 30C plus days in a region that often sits comfortably in the mid 10C to mid 20C range.

The Bay of Plenty was crowned as the fourth sunniest region in 2019 with a total of 2420 sunshine hours.

Chance Eparaima, 10, cools off at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre in January 2019. Photo / File
Chance Eparaima, 10, cools off at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre in January 2019. Photo / File

Rotorua recorded its hottest day since 1964 on February 13, hitting 32.2C, and Tauranga had its highest temperature since 1913 at 31.6C on the same day.

Out of the six main centres, Tauranga was crowned warmest, sunniest and driest in the summer months.

January and February were particularly hot and dry across the Bay of Plenty, with water shortages and fire warnings rife across the region.

February saw severely dry soils take hold with local farmers drying off cows early and changing routines to make do.

As autumn rolled in, the grey clouds did not.

Advertisement
Float music festival at Tikitapu (Blue Lake) went off for another year in the sun. Photo / File
Float music festival at Tikitapu (Blue Lake) went off for another year in the sun. Photo / File

Rainfall was below average across the region with drought conditions declared in the Western Bay of Plenty in March.

As temperatures evened out into April and May, the rainfall still remained below average, with Tauranga the driest out of the six main centres by the end of May.

June and July were warmer than usual, but above-average rainfall gave the soils a much-needed soaking.

August, September and October saw mild temperatures, with the odd cold snap and rain.

During November, the hot days began creeping back in with high temperatures recorded across the region.

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president Darryl Jensen said the season ended up being good to farmers after a worrying dry start to the year.

With scattered showers when needed and a moderately wet winter, feed levels were high, he said.

While holidaymakers would be praying for hot temperatures and no rainfall this summer, farmers would be doing the opposite.

Another dry summer was forecast and Jensen said farmers would be looking out for the showers.

THE NEW YEAR FORECAST

Tauranga

Today: Fine apart from some morning cloud. Westerlies developing. High 28C / Low 15C

Tomorrow: A fine and warm day. Southwesterlies developing. High 29C / Low 18C

Friday: Mainly fine. Southwesterlies picking up. High 27C / Low 14C

Rotorua

Today: Fine apart from some morning cloud. Light winds. High 27C / Low 12C

Tomorrow: Mainly fine and warm. Light winds. High 28C / Low 15C

Friday: Mainly fine. Southwesterlies developing. High 24C / Low 11C

Source: Metservice

THE HIGHEST & LOWEST TEMPERATURES OF 2019:

Warmest day:

Rotorua – 32.2 on February 13

Tauranga – 31.6 on February 13

Whakatāne – 33.3 on January 28

Coldest night:

Rotorua - -2.8 June 30

Tauranga – 1.9 June 19

Whakatāne – -0.7 August 2

Coldest day:

Rotorua – 9.1C August 5

Tauranga – 11.5C August 5

Whakatāne – 11.6C June 23

Warmest night:

Rotorua – 18.2C January 30

Tauranga – 21.6C January 30

Whakatāne – 20.8C January 19