Hawke's Bay is experiencing above average temperatures this July, with just over a week left in the month.

NIWA Meteorologist Maria Augutis said in Napier the average mean daily temperature was 1.4C higher than is average for July, and at Whakatu it is 1.2C higher.

"If we are looking at mean and max temperatures, so the average high temperature of the day, then Napier is on the track to one of the warmest Julys on record."

"It has been unseasonably warm, definitely."


She said the heat was caused by a combination of factors.

"First of all the sea surface temperatures are above normal for this time of year, across much of the ocean waters."

"Since we are an island nation, where the sea goes we go."

"There's also been a lack of southerlies, we haven't seen that very cold air rolling in over New Zealand."

"And then, especially in June, we had frequent bouts of high pressure, which also in the long term can bring warmer than average temperatures."

Hawke's Bay is not the only region feeling the heat.

It has been 29 months since New Zealand has seen temperatures drop below average.

"That's a pretty powerful statistic," Augutis said.


"We've seen the drying trend, and it has been unseasonably warm over the past two years."

She said it was difficult to say if the warm July temperatures this year are a direct consequence of climate change, but overall they are seeing a pattern of warming.

"We do see the Earth is warming and that is an ongoing trend."

She said in terms of rainfall, Hawke's Bay had seen near average levels, and over the past three months trending on the dry side.

"We haven't seen those extremes like we've seen in temperatures."

NIWA has released its forecast up until September, with temperatures expected to remain at average or above average levels.

She said while it had been a very settled start to winter, there is the potential for more active weather to develop moving into August and September.

"Even though it may have started very settled it could become more unsettled later on."

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's most recent State of the Environment report, for the month of June, found temperatures to be average, with a mean daily maximum of 13C and a mean daily minimum of 4C.

Rainfall was also average for the month, however this was concentrated to the south, with the north of the region being drier.

It predicted temperatures for July-September were going to be at or above average.

Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president Jim Galloway said the slightly warmer than normal weather had helped farmers as it encouraged grass production.

It was especially welcome as many farmers were running low on feed this year, Galloway said.

"This has helped just even things out a little bit, grass growth wise."

He said a bit more rain would be welcome, as there was not much in the ground water currently.

"I don't think there is a lot of excess water in the ground water system, so even though we had some quite heavy rain 10 days ago it didn't get really, really wet."

"A little bit more rain would be good to put some into the groundwater, because that holds you through to spring and into summer."