A bit warm for July

04:15, Jul 31 2014

If you're thinking today's unusually hot for the middle of winter, you're not wrong.

A strong norwesterly flow over the country was pushing temperatures well above their normal July peaks.

Temperatures were in the high teens from Dunedin through to Blenheim in the South Island, with the mercury hitting 20.9 degrees in Christchurch and Timaru shortly before 2pm - one of the hottest July days on record for the latter city.

Temperatures were also in the high teens for the upper North Island, with 18.4 in Tauranga, 17.7 in Hamilton and 17.6 degrees in Auckland.

MetService forecaster Peter Little said the balmy temperatures were due to the "very, very strong" northwesterly flow over the country.

"There's a lot of moisture being dropped on the West Coast, and as the wind descends on the eastern side of the [Southern] Alps, it warms up."

Many parts of the country could expect the balmy weather to hang around until Sunday, when a southerly change would bring a cooler change, Little said.

NIWA preliminary data shows today was one of the warmest on record on the South Island's east coast.

At 2pm:

Christchurch - 22C at Kyle Street. The fourth warmest recorded in July for all Christchurch stations (the airport, Christchurch Gardens and the NIWA building in Riccarton). 

Timaru - The MetService temperature from their website was 21.7C, its second-warmest July temperature of all-time. Records go back to 1885 there.

Oamaru - MetService registered 19.4C which is equal to seventh warmest all-time. The warmest July temperature recorded there is 20C.

Dunedin City (Musselburgh) - 18.8C is the fourth-highest July temperature on record since 1947 - 20C is the warmest.