Holidaymakers can expect cracking long-weekend weather this weekend, whether they are heading away for Auckland anniversary weekend, or planning a city staycation.

But the drought affecting parched areas in the northern North Island is expected to worsen, with no end in sight to the baking temperatures and dry conditions.

Metservice meteorologist Lewis Ferris said the area's not expected to see much-needed rain any time soon.

"They've had such an elongated periods of dry weather and there's not much in the short term that's going to aid that," he said.


Apart from a few showers expected on Friday, a broad area of the North Island, stretching from Cape Reinga to Coromandel and Waikato, along with parts of Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa, will see hot and dry weather well into next week.

And scorching weekend temperatures, soaring past 25C, are likely to leach more moisture from the ground.

"The hot weather this weekend only aids the evaporation of water in the soil, so if they get rain it will evaporate before it gets any time to do much good," Ferris said.

Water restrictions are in place across Northland/Kaipara, with no hoses or sprinklers allowed in Opononi/Omapere, Kaitaia, Kaikohe/Ngawha, Kawakawa/Moerewa, Dargaville and Ruawai.

Nor are sprinklers allowed in Omanaia/Rawene, Kerikeri/Waipapa, Waitangi/Paihia/Opua and Okaihau.

Residents are urged to use water sensibly everywhere else.

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While there are no current water restriction in place in the city of sails, Ferris said the city was in the same, dry boat as upper Northland.


Auckland's toasty temperatures are expected to drop slightly next week as westerlies reach the region, rather than the warm northwesterlies of late, Ferris said.

But no rain is expected in the area in the next two weeks, possible until early February.

Ferris said it was the same, dry story of baking weather in the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

A total water ban is in place in Coromandel Town, Hahei, Whitianga, Waihī and Waikino; with alternate days' use in Whangamatā and Matarangi.

Residents in Tairua, Pauanui and Onemana, and across Hauraki District asked to conserve water.

There are no current water use restrictions in Tauranga, Western Bay of Plenty, Whakatāne, Kawerau, Rotorua or Ōpōtiki.

In northern Waikato, where the soil moisture has been recorded as 50mm below average, sprinklers are only allowed to be used in alternate days in Hamilton, Tauwhare, Matangi, Gordonton, Morrinsville and Te Aroha, and Mokau in Waitomo.

Ferris said Hamilton had only had 9.2mm of rain this month, well below its average of 79mm for this time of year.

In Hawkes Bay and Gisbourne, where the temperature is expected to stretch towards 28C this weekend, alternate day sprinkler and hose use restrictions in Napier and Hastings, between 6am to 8am and 7pm to 9pm.

Ferris said that the area had received some rain, but had only received around half of the average rainfall for January.

Hose use is allowed before 10am and after 4pm in Central Hawke's Bay on alternate days; sprinkler use prohibited and washing of vehicles and buildings permitted only with a bucket and sponge.

Sprinklers, irrigation systems and unattended hoses are banned in New Plymouth until end of March; handheld hoses allowed on alternate days. No restrictions in place in Stratford or South Taranaki.

There is total hosing ban in Akitio and Norsewood, with alternate day restrictions in Dannevirke, Eketahuna, Pahiatua, Woodville and Pongaroa.

Wellington is expected to be cooler than the rest of the country, hitting 24C this weekend, although Ferris said the hasn't been much rain in the capital.

Down in the South Island, ongoing dry conditions, high temperatures and high to extreme fire danger have led to Otago's Fire and Emergency prohibiting activities which may cause sparks.

Temperatures in Otago are expected to hit the late twenties and early thirties next week, increasing fire danger levels to Extreme, Deputy Rural Fire Officer Bobby Lamont said.

"Conditions are such that something as small as a spark could start a fire.

"Sparks can originate from a mower or chainsaw hitting unseen rocks or something more obvious such as spark from grinding or welding."

Prohibited activities include roadside mowing, grinding, welding, chainsaws and the use of fireworks and explosives from mid-night Thursday January 23 until mid-night Sunday January 26.

Ferris said areas including Blenheim, Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru have received far below the average recorded rainfall for January.

"The eastern South Island has had quite a significant dry period," Ferris said.

Blenheim has received only 2.8mm of rainfall over January, compared with the January average of 46mm.

There is a permanent hosing ban in Ashburton district at Dromore, Methven Springfield and Montalto, no "non-essential" water use allowed at Mt Somers.

The area has only received 5.2mm of rainfall in January, compared to the average of 63mm.

Rain is expected in the West Coast later this week, though residents on Westport/Carters Beach water supply are asked to restrict the amount of water they use each day.