April temperatures near record highs through NZ
Summer may have ended, but April was still much warmer and much drier than normal throughout New Zealand.
Thirty-four locations had near-record or record high maximum temperatures in April, NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino told Morning Report.
"Christchurch ... what's impressive, had their second warmest April mean maximum temperature on record," he said.
"Their records go back into the 1800s, that's an extensive history."
Timaru also saw a maximum temperature of 30.8C in Timaru on 4 April, NIWA figures show - the country's fourth highest April temperature on record.
The outlook for winter weather and much-needed rain over the next three months to the end of July remained on the dry and warmer side, Brandolino said.
For much of the country, "We think precipitation, rainfall, will either be near normal or below normal" and "temperatures are likely to be average or above average", he said.
"If there's kind of a warm lean for temperatures and kind of a dry lean for rainfall, it certainly doesn't bode well, that's for sure.
"We do need rain to get the lakes up. It's dry, we actually have meteorological drought in eastern parts of Gisborne, so we do need the rain.
"Unfortunately, the next several days we're not going to get much."
Six of the past eight years have been among New Zealand's warmest on record, according to previous NIWA reports.