Weather: South Island's hot and blustery Easter prompts fire warning

Summer's well and truly over, but for most of the South Island the warm weather keeps on coming.

South Island residents have been treated to a sunny but hot and blustery Easter. 

And with this weather comes extreme fire danger. 

Fire crews have been battling blazes all weekend - at one stage, 37 crews were needed across Southland and Otago at the same time. 

Timaru topped 30.6C on Sunday, an April record for the seaside town - even hotter than Rarotonga.

"It's a large scale weather pattern that's causing this," MetService forecaster Hordur Thordarson says.

"There's a high off to the north of New Zealand and that's directing a moist stream across the country."

But the warmth hasn't come without the wind.

There was a warning of severe northwest gales issued for Tararua and Wairarapa, and up to 130km/h in Canterbury High country.

And for Wellington, Marlborough, Otago and South Fiordland, there's a wind watch for severe gales in exposed places. 

These strong winds and hot temperatures can be a dangerous combination, drying out hillsides and causing extreme fire danger. 

"Things will get tinder dry and winds are strong so any sparks and fires that are lit may be difficult to control," Thordarson said.

It may be the perfect weather for windsurfers, but can be a headache for fire crews.