Labour Weekend saw December-like temps in many areas - why it's an ominous sign

While Kiwis headed out in droves over the Labour Weekend to enjoy the hot weather, a meteorologist says it’s important to note climate change plays a part in the record-high temperatures.

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NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says parts of the country are experiencing temperatures usually seen in December. Source: Breakfast

NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino told TVNZ1’s Breakfast this morning the Auckland region over the past few days had been seeing temperatures more commonly seen in December.

“Not only that, if this were December it would still be unusually warm,” Brandolino said.

Meanwhile, Kaikoura reached 29 degrees over the weekend. Christchurch trailed close behind at 28 degrees, and Dunedin City hit 29 degrees, just shy of an October record.

“When we get these big temperatures. … Is it climate change? Yes, it’s a part of it,” he said.

“Grass will always grow. But, you throw fertiliser on it, it grows much better, much faster, much stronger.

“It has always been warm, it’ll always be warm when you have natural conditions - so warm ocean temperatures, winds coming from a warm place, high pressure - of course, those things happen naturally.

“But, in the background, we have climate change.”

Those “natural conditions” that cause warmth are then enhanced by climate change, Brandolino said.

He said the North Island can expect “sustained warmth” over the next few months, while the South Island can expect more variability, with “a bit more of a warm tilt”.

Brandolino said rain may come in the first week of November, but meteorological “signals” were showing the country could then see a “resurgence of more dryness” later in the month.