40 degree heat breaks record books

Timaru has broken the record for their hottest day ever with the temperature hitting a scorching 40.3 degrees in the shade shortly before 4pm today.

The extreme heat, which WeatherWatch.co.nz predicted yesterday, is connected to the same heat wave that saw Sydney climb to 42 degrees yesterday and then record their hottest night ever.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says Timaru has hovered around 39 degrees for much of the day but peaked at 40.3, breaking their previous record of 39.7 degrees recorded in February 1973.

Image: The mercury doesn't have much room at the top as this thermometer in Ashburton climbs to 42 in the sun / Zac Wilson

Weather analyst Richard Green says it was a similar Australian/New Zealand heatwave back in 1973 too.  "Sydney reached 27.6 as their overnight low last night, beating their record by a whole degree set in February 1973.  That same heat wave also hit Timaru in 1973 and again today that record has been broken by point six of a degree".

The heat has been widespread too with WeatherWatch.co.nz readers reporting highs in the late 30s and around the 40 mark this afternoon across Canterbury.

Other centres to melt in the heat today were Christchurch, Alexandra, Ashburton, and Oamaru who all reached 36 officially, although private weather stations within Christrchurch were closer to 40. 

WeatherWatch.co.nz reported that Oamaru dropped 15 degrees in just 18 minutes as a southerly change moved through earlier this afternoon on it's Facebook page.  The weather news authority says Timaru can expect to drop 20 degrees quite suddenly later this afternoon or early evening as that same southerly moves through.

Dunedin reached 35 degrees before the southerly while Gisborne and Blenheim reached 34.

Numerous other regions and cities were in the 30s and late 20s across the country with the coolest weather on the nations western and southern coastlines of both islands.

Auckland made it to 28 degrees with unofficial recordings reaching the low 30s across the region.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says the cooler change will move in to the North Island on Monday and reach Auckland by Tuesday night lowering humidity levels too.

See a full run down of today's official national highs from MetService

- WeatherWatch.co.nz



Nice to see some validation

Nice to see some validation at last of moon cycles. 1973 was one of the wettest years in Australian history, 2x 19-yr moon cycles back. There was another big Australian cyclone then too, called TC Madge, and one in 1974 called Tracy that blew away Darwin. Madge's path of Madge was like Yasi, and can be found here http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/madge.shtml.
Madge took some two weeks to finally cross the country from the NE to the W, keeping low pressure systems around the northern half of the country for at least a fortnight after its inception.
Another 19-yr cycle further back takes us to 1954, when yet another big cyclone hit Australia devastating the Northern Rivers district of NSW as well as the Gold Coast area of QLD and Brisbane. Lismore scored over 250mm of rain in one day.

"path of Madge was like Yasi"

"path of Madge was like Yasi" ??
Here is the Yasi track: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yasi_2011_track.png Category 5 when it hit the coast south of Cairns, tracked to the southwest and fizzled out.
Here is the Madge track: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/madge.shtml Not even cyclone status when it hit the Qld coast north of Cairns. Tracked across the north of the country and apart from briefly being a cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria, it wasn't until it reached the Indian Ocean that it actually intensified.
You really do need a lot of imagination to be an astrologer. In reality though, those cyclones are linked by only one thing...it's cyclone season.

Mr Ring You vociferously

Mr Ring

You vociferously claimed on the Farming Show before Xmas that Northland would have a very dry January, and in fact a long term drought.

Woudl you care to explain how you got it so wrong, given Northland has been pretty much breaking rainfall records for January?

Did the Moon shrink or something?

No, Northland did have a very

No, Northland did have a very dry January, only about 7 wet days, with most rain near the end of the month. The end of the month is almost part of the next. i.e. within the error margin as I convert months to lunar months.

"But the better-than-average summer rainfall for Northland predicted by Niwa is not expected until the second half of summer."

So not fair to just pick on me.

Ken, you say the end of the

Ken, you say the end of the month is almost the part of "the next month"

This further incriminates your failed prediction as you predicted in that interview that 'the next month" - February would be continued drought!

It is completely fair to pick on you, you were wrong.

get over yourself. Leave ken

get over yourself. Leave ken alone. At least hes got the balls 2 share what he believes in. He gets it right MOST of the time. The times that dont quite line up-oh well, hes only human... NOONE is perfect!! Just drop it pse.

Thanks for sharing your anger

Thanks for sharing your anger management issues Andy J.... however its Ken Ring I'm addressing and I await his reply to my simple- and nonconfrontational- question.

negative comments about ken ring

Hey noone no technology can fully predict the weather exactly .You can give a rough idea but thats about it to those idiots like this one who expect date and time and where is unrealistic so before you comment you want to think before you open your mouth or is that not possible for you? our weather experts ,enthusiasts, and people with skills like ken are just doing their best to get things right.Sometimes it wont be right and a lot of the time it will be....But if our weather people decided we have had enough criticism thats it and noone decided to share their expertise ....you would do even more complaining wouldnt you!!!!! how bout you try to get it right from isobaric maps,satellite images .....if your not better than someone else at something you should keep your mouth shut!

Hang on a minute, we are

Hang on a minute, we are talking here about a broad prediction in the period of months(s), not a specific day and date.

Not quite sure why such abusive comments are required, all that is being pointed out is that based on the recorded amounts of rainfall Mr Ring was wrong.

We are all wrong sometimes, and its only the folk with the greatest integrity who can admit it when they are.

Origin of heat wave

What the hell do you mean by "homepage" ?????
Some dumb blonde on TV1 stated that the high temps are the result of the afteraffects of Cyclone Tasi.
I beg to differ - they are more likely to be the aftermath of Cyclone Anthony which tracked through the same region of Australia but at a crucial point turned south to Victoria advecting warm tropical air with it to cross the Tasman resulting in today's v.high east coast temps.
Cyclone Tasi now downgraded to low of tropical origin is moving westward at about 25 - 30 deg. south into W.A. Very little of this system has entrained itself into the frontal system at present lying nw to se over the Tasman Sea and NZ. That some of it will is highly likely but also much of it is still caught up in the low system that continues to track west.

The Timaru value would be the

The Timaru value would be the highest "official" reading since 7 Feb. 1973 (when at least 5 NIWA-listed sites reached 40.4C or more).

Thunder storms?

Hi WW team,

Could this heat bring on some wopper thunderstorms for us?

Could be a few around the

Could be a few around the South Island but the air is too warm aloft for any severe thunderstorms.  Need things to become a bit more unstable to spice things up a bit.

- WW


Hi its 27.6 in my loung at 6.06pm. We live in Arkles Bay, Whangaparaoa. ( Just befor Orewa, North Auckland ) We have been sitting at 24.5 at 11pm most nights.

Yep...10pm and still 30

Yep...10pm and still 30 degrees here in the ChCh burbs. Unreal day- topped out at 37 this afternoon

Which recording of the

Which recording of the temperature is more 'official' - with the thermometer in the shade or sun? just wondering since they obviously give very different results.

Hi Sam, the official

Hi Sam, the official temperature is always taken in the shade.


- WW