15 Jan 2018

Southlanders wilting in record 30-plus heat

5:33 pm on 15 January 2018

Record temperatures in Invercargill have led to more people than usual presenting at Southland Hospital's emergency department.

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Oreti beach, Invercargill, on Sunday. Photo: Supplied / Ezicab Invercargill

About 30 people presented to the hospital on Sunday with heat-related ailments after the day peaked at 32.3°C degrees, the highest recorded temperature in the city.

Southern District Health Board deputy chief medical officer Dr Tim Mackay called for care in the sun.

It was younger, otherwise healthy people, who kept hospital staff busy yesterday, he said.

"They were younger people who had probably been out at the beach and making the most of the day and forgot to do some basic things like put some sunscreen on and make sure they're drinking plenty of water."

Dunedin residents took to St Clair Beach to get out of the heat of the day.

Dunedin residents took to St Clair Beach to get out of the heat of the day. Photo: RNZ / Tim Brown

Is it a scorcher where you are? Send your summer snaps to: iwitness@radionz.co.nz

The high temperatures continued today and are expected again tomorrow.

After Invercargill had its hottest day on record on Sunday, today could break records too. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said Invercargill was 28.8° at midday today compared to 26.4° on Sunday at noon.

By 4pm, the temperature was 30.9°.

"If it eclipses 32.2°C today, it will be the warmest day in at least 113 years."

In the Hutt Valley near Wellington, the temperature on Monday was also inching towards a record.

So far this summer the Hutt record has been broken three times.

On 3 January, it reached 31.3° degrees and on Monday it hit 31.2° shortly before 3pm.

In Dunedin, the temperature climbed to 28°.

Across the country, it has been a record-breaking start to summer, with most of the North Island and swathes of the South Island at least 2° above the average temperature.

Meanwhile, Fire and Emergency have imposed a total fire ban across Otago from midnight on Monday.

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