Winter solstice brings record-breaking heat

  • 23/06/2016
(A Chisholm)
(A Chisholm)

It was the shortest day of the year on Tuesday -- but the mercury wasn't having any of it, with record mild temperatures for the winter solstice.

Six centres -- Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch, New Plymouth, Taupo and Kaitaia -- all recorded their mildest nights on record, according to NIWA figures.

Kaikoura even set a record for its warmest June 21 ever, hitting a temperature of 18.2degC.

"You wouldn't expect a day with record warms on the shortest day, it's a bit different , a bit unique," said NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll.

Climate change might have played a role in the higher temperatures but the warm seas around New Zealand were also a major factor.

"They are about 1-2 degrees above normal, which contributes in a large way."

However, things got even warmer on Wednesday with a number of major centres hit record maximums for June 22, including Kaikoura reaching a giddy 23degC.

Christchurch touched 21.8C, beating it previous high of 18.2degC.

NIWA had earlier predicted it would be a warmer and wetter winter than previous years.