8 Jan 2024

Temperatures set to rise into 30s

10:36 am on 8 January 2024
Young people keeping cool in the heat at Alexandra.

Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Workers are starting back to a warm, dry week with temperatures set to climb into the early 30s for some parts of the country.

MetService meteorologist John Law said a large area of high pressure was sitting across most of the country, bringing dry, fine weather.

A high of 31 degrees Celsius was predicted for Alexandra in Central Otago while Masterton in the Wairarapa was forecast to reach a high of 29 degrees on Monday.

"I think for most of us it's a dry one with those temperatures climbing by the end of the week ... a few flies in the ointment, but for most of us, a fine, dry and settled start to the working week of 2024," he said.

But it was the second half of the week, when Law said temperatures were expected to creep higher and he didn't rule out heat level alerts for some parts of the country.

"In your classic spots on that eastern side of the South Island, places like Canterbury climbing backs to highs of 30, even 32 or 33 degrees Celsius ... and those northwesterlies back for Thursday."

There might not be much of a reprieve overnight from the warmer temperatures.

MetService predicted a low overnight of 16 degrees Celsius in Hokitika on Thursday.

John Law warned that the fine weather did come at an increased fire risk.

"Well worth keeping an eye on those risks before you set any fires or any sparks around the garden."

A few pockets of clouds were lingering around, particularly on the western coast of the South Island towards Fiordland and around Southland and Otago on Monday, but he said some of that was expected to clear away later on in the day.

Wetter weather might start pushing back into the West Coast later in the week, and John Law encouraged people to keep an eye on the forecast.