Hottest Christmas since 1947
The scorching heat this Christmas Day was the hottest December 25 in 66 years, according to Crown research institute Plant & Food.
Institute scientist Rob Agnew said the maximum temperature recorded on Tuesday at the Marlborough Research Centre campus at Grovetown Park, just north of Blenheim, was 32 degrees Celsius.
That was the hottest day in 22 months after February 6 last year recorded a temperature of 33.4C.
Daily temperature records for Blenheim available from 1947 to 2012 show this year was the hottest Christmas Day since 1947, and the fourth highest temperature recorded in December.
The temperature overnight on Tuesday was also higher than normal, with a minimum temperature of 19.8C, more than 8C warmer than December's average minimum overnight temperature of 11.6C.
Boxing Day on Wednesday reached 29.8C, but it was no match for the hottest December day on record of 33.4C recorded on December 31, 1948.
Christmas Day last year was more than 10C cooler, with a maximum temperature of 21C.
- The Marlborough Express