27 Jan 2018

Warnings as temperatures continue to soar

11:31 am on 27 January 2018

With more warm weather on the way, New Zealanders are being warned of the health dangers that it can bring after the death of a woman in Christchurch.

People on beach and swimming

Catching the last of the sun at Oriental Bay in Wellington Photo: RNZ / Karen Brown

A woman with multiple sclerosis died from overheating on Wednesday, prompting a warning from the Chief Coroner.

Yesterday Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said people with multiple sclerosis, or other illnesses which make them susceptible to overheating, need to keep an eye on symptoms worsening in the hot weather.

On Wednesday, Christchurch hit 32°C and Waiau 37°C, and today parts of the country are expected to hit 34°C.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey said most people with a chronic condition will find the condition gets worse if they are dehydrated.

He said older people and children are also particularly at risk from the impacts of heat stress.

Dr Humphrey said the most important thing is to drink plenty of water.

Tauranga has already reached 25.6°C this morning and the coolest temperature is a balmy 17.9°C in Kaikōura.

MetService Meterologist James Millward said Wanaka is going to feel most of the heat today.

"It's going to be a nice roasty weekend for a lot of people, especially the long weekenders," he said.

Mr Millward said Aucklanders can expect a max of 29°C which goes right through to Monday.

And while more scorching weather is forecast for much of the country this weekend - MetService this morning issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Waitomo, Taumarunui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne, Taranaki and Taihape.

MetService said the combination of another very warm humid day and light winds are expected to allow daytime cloud buildups to produce scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms about the central North Island again today.

It said the thunderstorm activity is not expected to be as widespread and intense as yesterday.

Meanwhile, rest homes and retirement villages are topping up on iceblocks to keep residents cool.

Ryman Healthcare has ordered in extra frozen treats from suppliers and said it's ensuring all its 10,000 residents throughout the country are supplied with plenty of fluid.

Age Concern is also urging members of the public to check in with elderly neighbours and relatives.

Mr Millward said the heat is going to continue well into next week, meaning we're on track for the warmest January since records began.

Watch: What today's weather looks like

Today's weather forecast


Sunny spells, chance afternoon or evening shower. Southeasterly. High 27°C; Low 20°C


Mostly sunny with a few light winds and a chance of afternoon or evening showers. High 29°C; Low 20°C


Mainly fine with a few light winds. A few afternoon and evening showers, with possible thunderstorms. High 30°C; Low 18°C


Mostly sunny with a few light winds and a chance of afternoon showers. High 27°C; Low 20°C


Mainly fine but some low cloud lingering into the afternoon. Cloud returning at night. High 25°C; Low 17°C


Fine apart from cloud tonight. High 25°C; Low 16°C


Fine spells. A few showers developing during the afternoon, chance heavy. Light winds. High 27°C; Low 18°C


Often cloudy, a few showers developing towards midday. Westerlies. High 24°C; Low 17°C

- MetService