Northlanders may need more than an ice-block and a dip at their favourite watering hole as the stifling heat wreaking havoc in Australia is heading our way this weekend.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said sleeping would be a struggle from early next week as the heat, coupled with humidity, would linger across Northland for up to five consecutive days.
Demand for water from those on tank water across Northland started going up from last weekend and is poised to increase further as significant rain could be weeks away from falling.
Records are tumbling in a number of South Australian locations, including Adelaide, where temperatures are hitting 46C and pushing energy network to the brink.
Whangārei, Kerikeri, Kaitaia and Cape Reinga have all had 10mm or less rain between New Year's day and yesterday and Niwa principal scientist Chris Brandolino said rainfall in Northland over the next 10 to 14 days was expected to be "well below normal".
Today, tomorrow and Monday were expected to reach highs of 27C-29C with plenty of sunshine across the region, making ideal conditions for the hordes of holidaymakers expected over the long weekend.
"Soil would be abnormally dry and with the expected warmth and humidity coming your way, people have got to watch the temperatures that will be in their late 20s, early 30s from next week," Brandolino said.
"Those conditions will also increase the fire risk and it's going to be a struggle sleeping because next week will be abnormally warm and it will be humid for five to six days straight and that will wear out people."
He said hot air coming from across the Tasman coupled with warm waters in New Zealand, a high pressure system bringing settled weather and more sunshine hours would drive temperatures to record or near record levels.
Kerikeri has been the hottest place in Northland so far this summer, with official highs of 30C, and the mercury peaked at 27C yesterday— the highest extreme temperature in New Zealand at the time.
Frank Veldhuizen of Kaikohe Water Supplies said demand for water was starting to pick up after a busy spell just before Christmas.
"The three to four inches of rain we've had quietened things down around Christmas and New Year but demand for water is starting to pick up now, although I wouldn't say it's hectic.
"The grass is starting to burn off but we haven't got to the stage yet where big cracks are starting to show in the ground," he said.
Veldhuizen supplies water as far away as Opononi, Kohukohu and Mangamukas.
Ruawai Transport owner Karl Wrathall said he started fielding an increasing number of calls for water deliveries in the last two to three days.
"We are doing three to four runs a day but that can go up to seven when we're busy and most of our customers are farmers, beach houses and the like."
Northland Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said farmers were not panicking yet as yet because rain just prior to Christmas ensured good grass growth.
However, she said rain was needed sooner rather than later to ensure a steady supply of