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Many NZ regions on track for warmest, driest autumn since records began

That National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says many parts of New Zealand are on track for the warmest, driest autumn since records began.

Winter is just around the corner, officially beginning at the end of the week on Saturday June 1, and a NIWA spokesperson confirmed that many areas, especially in the south, had their warmest autumn in decades:

- Taupō – on track for 2nd warmest Autumn – records began 1949

- Hokitika - on track for 4th warmest Autumn – records began 1866

- Milford Sound - on track for warmest Autumn – records began 1934

- Mt Cook - on track for warmest Autumn – records began 1929

- Tekapo - on track for warmest Autumn – records began 1927 

- Dunedin - on track for warmest Autumn – records began 1947

- Invercargill - on track for warmest Autumn – records began 1905

The spokesperson said that those rankings were subject to change slightly, with the rest of the week to go before winter.

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NEWS weatherman Dan Corbett has the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS

They also confirmed that many regions have experienced their driest Autumn since records began.

Those include Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Whangarēi, Whangaparaoa, Auckland (Mangere), Whitianga, Te Puke, Whakatāne, Taupō, Hamilton, Dannevrike and Tiwai Point.

MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said the warmer, drier weather was due to several high pressure systems over the country in the last three months, and a lack of the usual southerly fronts.

"We have seen milder weather - this is mainly due to prevailing high pressure systems," she said.

"We haven't had those southerlies coming up that usually drag up that cold air - high pressure systems tend to give us more settled weather."

Ms Murray said a warmer-than-usual May had been experienced by many - Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Westport all recorded average temperatures a full degree above average.

"A degree is quite considerable in that circumstance," Ms Murray said.

"We have had warm sea surface temperatures around New Zealand as well, so that certainly helps, termperature-wise."

The warm trend is due to come to an abrupt end this week, she said, with several cold front due to head up the country.

"At the weekend we are going to see a change in that weather pattern - temperatures will drop and I think will drop back to that sort of normal temperature for this time of year."

For a full weather forecast for your region, see the 1 NEWS weather section here.

File picture Source: istock.com