It's official - last month was New Zealand's hottest November on record, NIWA's climate scientists have announced.
The toasty end to spring was 1.55 degrees above the 30-year average, data from NIWA's Seven-Station Series found.
A warm, dry northwesterly airflow from Australia brought unusually high temperatures to parts of New Zealand in the first week, with Kawerau breaking three consecutive hottest day records at 34.6 degrees on November 3, with 33 and 32.1 degrees measured in the following days.
Taupo and Rotorua both broke the 30 degrees mark in November for the first time, beating their previous records by 3.3 degrees and 4.3 degrees to reach 32.8 degrees and 30.9 degrees respectively.
NIWA says this year is tracking to become New Zealand's fourth warmest on record, following 2016, 1999 and 1998.
But both 2016 and 1999 had colder than usual Decembers so this year may end up beating them, principal climate scientist Dr Brett Mullan says.
"This year will match 2016 for warmest-equal year if the December 2019 anomaly reaches plus 1.2 degrees, which is certainly possible," he says.
The data from NIWA's Seven-Station Series tracks temperatures from the last 90 years.
Last month's hot temperatures beat out the previous record holders, a tie between 1954 and 2013 at 1.38 degrees above average.