Get ready for the heat - a new study is predicting exceptionally hot weather for the next four years.
Between now and 2022, UK and Dutch scientists say oceans will naturally release more heat, and that’s being intensified by global warming.
Last summer, temperatures were already three degrees above average, and the next few summers are also predicted to be warmer than normal.
“This is where you’ll break your records. This is where you’ll have your hottest year, this is where you’ll have your hottest summer, and that’s why you might see a few records broken in the next few years,” says NIWA climate scientist Sam Dean.
But the dry conditions could cause problems for farmers and growers, and push up the price of vegetables.
Horticulture NZ’s Mike Chapman says everyone needs to be more prepared.
“We've got to start thinking a lot smarter in New Zealand about capturing all the water that basically flows out to sea. We've got to be able to use that water for future survival,” he says.
“Plants don’t grow without water.”
It could also be tough farmers who’ve already endured years of long dry summers.
“And if they're predicting more periods like that, that's really something that's going to bite hard in this area,” says North Canterbury farmer Cameron Henderson.
“We need to make sure that our irrigation system is fit for purpose and can last through those periods - that it's not just suitable for now but for whatever the weather might throw at us over the next four years.”