New Zealand has emerged from its second-warmest year and warmest winter on record.
Climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger released the figures this morning, showing 2013's winter beat all others for warmth since records began in 1870.
Last year as a whole was the country's second-warmest on record with temperatures on average 0.84 degrees Celsius above normal. The only year it was hotter was 1998, which was 0.89C above average.
The New Zealand regional mean temperature for 2013 was derived from 22 land stations, and 3 offshore islands.
Record annual mean temperatures were recorded in the south east of the South Island, Salinger said.
Masterton, Omarama, Timaru, Invercargill and the Chatham Islands all had record years.
Lincoln had its second warmest year in more than a century in 2013.
Salinger said Lincoln's average temperature was 12.42C, 0.89C higher than its long term average as recorded since 1870.
Winter 2013 mean temperatures were 1.27 degrees C above the 1961-1990 average, the highest on record.
Salinger said the above-average temperatures were expected to continue this year. Average temperatures of 0.2 to 0.6 degrees C above average for the New Zealand region were predicted.
But it was bad news, because it followed a global trend which an intergovernmental panel on climate change report blames on "increasing greenhouse gases augmenting the greenhouse effect".
- The Dominion Post