For the second year running Tauranga's temperatures have rocketed to record-high peaks - and local business owners are starting to feel the burn.

According to Niwa's climate summary for January, Tauranga was the sunniest, driest and warmest city out of the six main centres around the country.

The sunny Bay of Plenty proved true to its name this January and soaked up 322 hours of sunshine, clocking in as the fourth sunniest region in the country. Last year during the same period, the area got only 198 sunshine hours.

Rainfall dramatically decreased, with Tauranga receiving 16mm of rain during January - 20 per cent of the normal amount. Last year, the city was the wettest main centre and was hosed with 136mm, nearly two times the usual amount.


The average air temperatures across the Bay of Plenty maintained the record numbers that were racked up last year.

This January, Tauranga clocked in at 22.1C, a 2.6C spike from usual. This matched the temperature measured last year and continued the area's record heat for a second year running.

MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said the first 10 days of February this year have had no rainfall - a stark contrast to last year's approximate total of 24.5mm and the average norm of 26mm.

LawnTech owner-operator Paul Turner said people who don't work in an industry affected by the weather might not realise that it "is really a bad situation".

Less work had come his way because clients delayed sowing their lawn until autumn brought cooler weather.

The searing heat meant soil dried out at a much faster rate than normal - freshly dug and relaid topsoil dried out within days and was difficult to work with, he said.

"Working with really dry, powdery soil is like trying to compact talcum powder."

While it was not unusual to have a dry spell over summer, the intensity of the heat was new.


A major signal of the heat was found along the shoreline, he said, as some heat-loving grasses that grow near the beach, such as kikuyu and couch, were also starting to brown over.

"You know when that dries off you're in a pretty serious [dry spell]."

Alex's Lawnmowing Services owner-operator Alex Henney said the lack of grass growth meant he was mowing lawns less frequently, with some pushed back to every three weeks instead of two.

While Tauranga was not looking too bad, Pāpāmoa was looking "real burnt off".

"Another week without rain will definitely make things interesting," he said.

BOP Lawns Ltd owner-operator Robyn Price said the dry weather was starting to show - both in the grass and the bottom line.

"I tell clients, 'I'm just coming to cut your hay,' " she said.

Jokes aside, the weather had started to impact the business in the last couple of weeks.

Clients in Pāpāmoa had requested for lawns normally mowed twice a week to be mown monthly - meaning half the income for Price in some parts of their run.

The former dairy farmer picked up the business last June, and she was confident they would survive the dry spell.

"We were farmers for the past 21 years ... we're resilient."

Meanwhile, Decor Gardenworld owner Ginny Clark said the business was cruising through the summer, despite the rise in temperature.

At times, the temperature could soar up to 34C at the garden centre in Bethlehem.

Clark said it was best to hand-water plants in the morning to conserve water and to use mulch to help keep the soil damp.

"If plants are established, you'd be surprised how much they can handle."