Scorchers predicted for Sth Canty

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 10:33 30/01/2013

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Be prepared: the next three days are expected to be scorchers.

The MetService is predicting a high of 29 degC for Timaru today, tomorrow and Friday, while Climate scientist Jim Salinger said parts of the South Island's east coast between Timaru and Marlborough could top 40C.

Met Service forecaster Dan Corbett said low cloud lurking around Timaru would prevent the mercury getting as high as 40C.

''For that to happen you have to have a a very strong norwester and that is not really setting up. The high cloud may burn off and we do have the hint on a norwester which is why we are predicting 29C.

''The high will break down by the weekend and you will need your rain coats next week.''

Dr Salinger said the heatwave was being buoyed by gentle norwesterlies and warm air clashing with the tail end of tropical cyclone Oswald, mirroring conditions that created a 40C-plus day in Canterbury on February 7, 1973, when the temperature in Rangiora hit 42.4C.

While predictions are varied, either way it is going to be hot and Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Daniel Williams warns people to take care.

''Most people enjoy hot weather, but very hot weather can be dangerous for anyone, particularly the old or very young, or people who are already unwell.

''Overheating can lead to confusion, lethargy and problems with breathing or heart rate.''
He said people should drink plenty of water, keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and avoid the sun at the hottest part of the day.

People should also wear sunscreen, a hat and loose fitting clothing if they go outdoors.

Dr Williams said people should also be sensible about exercise and encourages them to ventilate their home and vehicle.

He said anyone who concerned about overheating should talk to their doctor straight away or phone Healthline for advice from a registered nurse on 0800 611 116.

NEW ZEALAND'S TOP 40S

February 7, 1973 Rangiora, 42.4C Christchurch, 41.6C Ashburton, 41.3 February 6, 2011 Timaru, 41.3C

January 22, 1908 Timaru 40C

The hottest recorded temperature in the North Island was 39.2C at Ruatoria, also on February 7, 1973

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- The Timaru Herald

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