Weather: Kiwis warned to be on higher alert for sharks this summer

Warmer sea temperatures could see more sharks around New Zealand this summer.
Warmer sea temperatures could see more sharks around New Zealand this summer. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

WeatherWatch is warning that Kiwis should be on higher alert for sharks this summer, especially in coastal areas.

The forecaster says due to New Zealand's higher sea temperatures, the chances of sharks being spotted over the summer may increase. 

Water temperatures have ranged from 1.1C to 1.4C above average for November and current sea surface temperatures are already over 20C in the upper North Island. 

This is great for swimming but WeatherWatch is urging Kiwis to keep an eye out for possible sharks this summer as there may be more around due to the extra marine heat. 

Marine heatwave conditions - classified when the sea temperature is above the 90th percentile for at least five days - have been observed in waters offshore of all regions of New Zealand.

Kiwis should be looking forward to a hot summer with temperatures 0.6C to 1.3C above average but this also brings warmer nights especially in the north and east which in part is down to the warmer sea surface temperatures.

With New Zealand experiencing a La Nina, this means there is an increased risk of low-pressure and rainmakers, WeatherWatch says. 

"The North Island may have quite a few showers this summer," WeatherWatch says. "Often in a La Nina summer, the days can start off drizzly/light showers in eastern coastal areas, sea breezes then push that moisture inland where daytime heating gathers it all up into large towering afternoon cloud build-up. 

"These downpours can deliver a lot of rain - but it's quite localised."

WeatherWatch is predicting the bulk of New Zealand's rain to come in the first half of December.

Over the next two weeks, the West Coast has over 300mm of rain coming while coastal parts of Canterbury may have only 15 to 30mm

The North Island is showing signs of getting afternoon downpours because of La Nina. This means after a morning of heat and humidity, the afternoon will see clouds build up and could see heavy downpours inland.