There was no escaping sweltering heat in Hawke's Bay yesterday, as mercury levels shot to 32C in Hastings and 31C in Napier.

It followed a sleepless night for many, as the previous evening's temperatures hovered around the mid 20Cs.

Nor'westerly winds offered little relief, instead serving to push a high across the region, MetService meteorologist Elke Lowe said.

"As air comes down off the high ground, that's what causes dry wind and brings higher temperatures."


Hot Chick and Cool Cat on Ahuriri boardwalk did a roaring trade, as people dropped in for dinner and an icecream to top off the day.

"We have been slammed, it's been wonderful.

"It has been chokka-block with icecream just going out the door," supervisor Deidre Caplice said.

Caramel fudge, cookies and cream and the old Kiwi favourite hokey pokey were the top flavours.

People flocked to local beaches and Splash Planet to cool down throughout the day. But Hastings Warehouse staff had not seen an unusual boost in sales of fans, with plenty left in stock for those still looking for cooling relief.

"We have had a few people ask if they come with remotes, because they don't want to get up," a spokeswoman said.

Nor'westerly winds died down late yesterday afternoon and weather for the next three days was expected to be calm and sunny.

"It will also be slightly cooler, about 27C [today], and it will remain in the mid to high 20Cs for the rest of the week," Ms Lowe said.

One News reported last night that Hastings took out the country's high temperature yesterday, with 33C, while Napier came in at 31C.