Rotorua has just had its warmest first half of the year on record - but the last month of winter looks set to be a cold one.

The average temperature in the first half of 2016, recorded at Rotorua Airport, was 15.4C, which is 1.4C above average. That ranked as the warmest first half of a year since Rotorua Airport observations began in 1964.

However, MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said temperatures were back to more typical levels this month, with the current average sitting at 17.8C, which is exactly the average for July.

"It looks likely that the abnormal warmth experienced across New Zealand for the first half of 2016 has come to an end," she said.

In fact, a rather cold period is signalled from this weekend and for next week - as we enter August.

"For the North Island, including for Rotorua, August temperatures are forecast to be near average to a touch cooler than usual," Mrs Griffiths said.


Local farmer Neil Heathers said although he had enjoyed not being so cold, he was finding the wet weather a challenge.

"It's certainly been warmer than usual, which is nice, but it has been damn wet and that brings its own challenges when you're driving around trying to feed the animals.

"Sometimes it's better when it's a bit drier. It will be really good to have some drier weather when we come into lambing season in August," Mr Heathers said.

Woodstock Firewood Supplies owner Aran Lundberg said he hadn't stocked as much wood as last year due to supply reasons and that had turned out to be "a blessing in disguise".

"There has definitely been a drop in sales, but in saying that I didn't have a big year for firewood."

He said last year's winter was long and cold compared to this one and his phone "hasn't been going crazy like last year".

"It's like it has gone from one extreme to another. So far this year it's been a shorter winter, but I am just about out of wood as I didn't have as much to sell as last year which has turned out to be a blessing in disguise."

Rotorua's temperatures for the first six months of 2016:
Monthly mean temperatures
January 18.5C - 0.8C above normal
February 19.6C - 1.7C above normal
March 17.4C - 1.4C above normal
April 14.2C - 0.9C above normal
May 13.2C - 2.5C above normal (warmest May on record)
June 9.5C - 1.0 above normal