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Auckland has hottest day in 137 years

Auckland not only experienced its hottest day of the summer – but the hottest since records began back in 1968.

Niwa Climate expert, Jim Salinger, says today’s high was the highest since their records began and equals a high recorded in the Auckland Domain 137 years ago, in 1872. 

During the 3pm hour the temperature at the official weather station at Whenuapai Airbase reached 32.4 – the hottest ever recorded there. 

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the reason for the extra hot weather was due to a clearance of cloud in the skies along with a gusty nor’wester. 

“Similar to the Canterbury nor’wester, West Auckland can also receive a jump in temps when a nor’wester blows – thanks to the Waitakere Ranges.  That coupled with hot air already over the city and a surprise break in the clouds so the sun could come out, meant the temperatures surged up in western suburbs”.

Across south and east Auckland it was only around 28 degrees – significantly lower without the warming affect of the wind.

“’s thermometer in West Auckland recorded 34 degrees fuelled by a hot nor’wester” says Duncan.

He says although humidity is lower today the intense heat and sunnier skies means it feels much hotter.  “Our humidex reading, which is a calculation of heat and humidity and what it feels like on your skin, is recording a whopping 38 degrees in Auckland”. exclusively forecast a mostly dry day today but the clearance of cloud even surprised them.  “The rain band moving in is slower than some forecasters thought for the Auckland region but skies have this afternoon temporarily cleared ahead of it.  This has given a rapid rise in afternoon temperatures”.

The latest rain radar shows the front bringing heavy rain to western areas of the North Island but the rain isn’t expected to set in across Auckland until this evening.

“Some people who have recently been in Melbourne have found the heat in Auckland just as hot this week, but in a much different way.  They report that the breeze is cooler but the humidity makes it feel just as hot and exhausting”.

Meanwhile Christchurch is having it’s second coldest day of the summer according to Weather Anlayst Richard Green.  

Mr Green says it’s currently 12.8 degrees and still raining.

– / NZ Herald


SW on 13/02/2009 3:08am

Did records only begin in 1968,thats not long ago?

Mal on 12/02/2009 11:37pm

Can someone tell me where the “official” Auckland temperature is taken- I mean the temp we see on the TV news? If its at Auck airport as I suspect shouldn’t it be moved to a more realistic location away from the sea? Everyone knows you go down to the beach when its hot to cool down. Cantabrians would have a far different “official” temperature if it was recorded at Sumner beach instead of at their airport inland! Wellington moved their temp guage for the same reasons some years back. I just feel its very misleading as its often much hotter than that claimed on TV.

WW Forecast Team on 13/02/2009 2:56am

Hi, thanks for the comment – and it’s a good question.

MetService – who supply temps to TV – use Auckland Airport and Whenuapai… some people assume they’ll take whichever is the most dramatic but that isn’t the case.  The temperature that best reflects Auckland will be the temperature used.  Yesterday 32 was a better reflection for the CBD, West and North as opposed to the lower Airport high. 

I agree completely that the Airport reading isn’t really appropriate.  It’s great for scientific data but I think inner city readings are far more accurate at representing us – we try to use local weather stations that we trust, except for the Daily Debrief which is compiled with official readings by the NZ Govt.


Philip Duncan

R Wood on 12/02/2009 10:03am

Henderson at River Park had a record high of 33.1C on 3 Feb 1998, in the NIWA database records. That’s the highest accepted value for any site around Auckland I believe.

WW Forecast Team on 12/02/2009 10:18am

We trust NIWA’s climate expert Jim Salinger and his comments in our story… many ‘unofficial’ thermometers measured a degree or 2 higher than 32.4 across northern and western Auckland.

Thanks for the feedback though – we’ll pass it on to Niwa,.

Weather Watch Team

Föehn on 12/02/2009 9:47am

At 22.47 our indoor thermometer is still showing 30ºC. Still too hot to go to bed!

WW Forecast Team on 12/02/2009 10:28am

We agree!  Very hot, humid, night in northern NZ.  23s for most places at 11pm with 26 in Gisborne!!

The front has almost cleared Auckland now…but don’t expect a sudden drop in temps this evening…it should be cooler tomorrow though…so one last hot, stuffy, night.  Of course, some are loving this heat too – so tomorrow night may not be as nice for them.  It may be in the low teens tomorrow night – a definite change!

The team at Weather Watch

Andrew on 12/02/2009 9:23am

Hi guys we recorded in Northcote 34.7c at around 2.45pm Man is it hot… Hope weekend cools off…. As next week warming up again…

Thanks again

Sarah B on 12/02/2009 3:31am

Top temp today for Beachlands was 27.3¬∞C at: 15:41… 26.9 degrees at the moment, humidity 79% and humidex 36.9. I dont want it any hotter as my poor little girl still has the chicken pox pretty bad…. AND when is it going to rain here??? Been wating for it all day… its taking its time getting here! :o)

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