It's been hot and humid for most of the country this week, but a looming tropical low could bring rain to many parts of New Zealand next week.
The forecasts for most this January may seem like a broken record, hot and humid with isolated thunderstorms.
But there really hasn't been much change as a blocking ridge of high pressure lies over New Zealand. Temperatures records have been broken and thunderstorms have continued to roll on for most afternoons.
As heatwave conditions continue for large parts of the country, temperatures have been reaching up to the mid-30s with ease the last few days and this is set to continue.
“Three stations recorded extreme temperatures yesterday, namely Wanaka, Queenstown and Whangaparaoa,” says MetService meteorologist Kyle Lee.
“Wanaka reached 35.2C which is the highest temperature on record since 1973, whereas Queenstown reached its third hottest ever recorded, which was 31.9C – the highest being 32.2C recorded on February 2, 2005.
“Whangaparaoa reached 28.8C, a record for the highest January temperature since records began there in 1999.”
These temperatures are set to continue for the first half of this coming week and could break even more records as it could heat up even more with temperatures expected to be around the mid-30s for most of the South Island on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A weak frontal feature did bring some relief from the high temperatures to the South Island and the lower North Island on Friday. This also brought in some unstable conditions for thunderstorms for both the North and South Islands, with the moderate risk of thunderstorms set to continue for large parts of the South Island and parts of the western North Island today.
Looking ahead this week, we have a tale of two stories, hot and humid to start with extreme temperatures on the cards. Forecasters are monitoring a tropical low over the Coral Sea during the coming days, which is likely to impact much of New Zealand in the second later this week.
Although its track is still uncertain, Kyle says, “This low is likely to bring a period of heavy rain and gales to much of southern and central New Zealand.”