10 Jan 2021

Warmer sea temperatures expected over next week

8:21 pm on 10 January 2021

Beachgoers can rejoice as the nation's coastal waters are running unusually warm again.

Visitors on Orewa beach on Jan 05 2015. (file image)

Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari / 123RF

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Ben Noll said the nation's sea temperatures cooled off slightly through December but were now on the rise again.

"Right now we are sitting a little bit above average for this time of year. If you go out for the swim or out on the water on the boat you might notice things are a little bit warm," Noll said.

Warmer than average water temperatures were expected to continue to climb over the next week or two, he said.

"With the climate pattern we are in - La Niña - we know that usually brings warm seas to the Tasman as well as New Zealand coastal waters."

Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) spokesperson Nicole Taber said while warmer waters can be extra inviting for would-be-swimmers, it is important people take care to ensure their day at the beach doesn't end with a stomach bug.

"Warmer sea temperatures can make for unsettled weather, so we'd like to remind people that regardless of the latest monitoring result, you should avoid swimming for two to three days after heavy rain as urban and rural run-off can affect recreational water quality," Taber said.

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