If you've been lapping up the Bay of Plenty heat in recent days, brace yourself for plenty more to come.

Niwa has today released its Seasonal Climate Outlook, which assesses the likely weather expected over the next three months.

Niwa's principal scientist - forecasting, Chris Brandolino, said above average temperatures was the mostly likely outcome for the Bay of Plenty.

There was also either a near normal or below normal chance receiving an average amount of rain in this time, he said.

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Nicholas Morrison, 13, cools off by jumping off Salisbury Wharf into Pilot Bay at Mount Maunganui. Photo / Andrew Warner
Nicholas Morrison, 13, cools off by jumping off Salisbury Wharf into Pilot Bay at Mount Maunganui. Photo / Andrew Warner

"If there's going to be below normal rainfall, that's most likely going to be in the upper North Island, which includes the Bay of Plenty."

Brandolino said the three-month prediction was an overall forecast which did not dissect individual months, so it was important to note the forecast did not rule out rainfall events.

"You can still get some significant rainfall, say an ex-tropical cyclone in March for example, but January and February might have been especially dry."

Warmer sea temperatures were a key factor in the outlook, Brandolino said.

"Our ocean temperature is a large influence on what happens and they are unusually warm, not only in the immediate coastal areas but out to the west, and out to the east as well. That's what will give us a higher chance of higher air temperatures."

The outlook comes as the Bay swelters in summer heat, with Tauranga recording 29C yesterday - the highest temperature over the past 30 days. Rotorua recorded a high of 26C.

MetService meteorologist Rob Kerr said today was expected to be fine and sunny across the region with a maximum temperature of 28C, but there was a bit of rain on the way with one or two showers forecast for tomorrow. The wet weather was expected to clear on Thursday, which will be partly cloudy but more scattered rain was possible for Friday.