People are being warned to be mindful of fire restrictions with hot, dry weather on the way for much of the country on Friday.
Temperatures over the next few days are set to be higher than average, as subtropical airflows and northwesterly winds move in.
And while it might be beach weather for many parts of the country, NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says conditions are also a recipe for fires to spread.
"When I look at the heat that's going to happen today and the wind combined, that's something that you've got to be mindful of," Brandolino told The AM Show on Friday.
"Mind any fire restrictions or fire bans because in the lower South Island there's going to be a lot of wind and a lot of warmth today, so that's not a good recipe."
The MetService has a strong wind warning in place in Fiordland and Southland, with gusts up to 120 kh/m forecast on Friday.
A strong wind watch is also in place in the areas of the Southern Lakes, Central Otago and Clutha, with winds approaching gale force expected in exposed places.
And temperatures are set to soar, particularly in the South Island.
Brandolino says Canterbury might get into the 30s today, while many other places in the South Island "may flirt with the mid-30s".
In the north, things will be a little cooler, with Auckland looking to have temperatures in the low 20s over the weekend, "because we're an isthmus and we're surrounded by water we don't have the benefit of air coming down a mountain which adds to the heat," Brandolino says.
Dry conditions are expected to last for a while yet, with WeatherWatch warning that some places such as Nelson, Marlborough and Northland might not see a drop of rain for the rest of the month.
A heatwave is also looking likely for inland South Island, WeatherWatch said on Friday, with temperatures forecast to hover 10C or more above average for at least five days.
Brandolino says it is looking like the first couple of weeks in December will also be warm.
"The North Island is where the warm weather is going to be most persistent."