After a scorching start to the week in Dunedin, rain is forecast today and tomorrow but whether it will be enough to avoid compulsory water restrictions remains to be seen.
Niwa climate scientist Nava Fedaeff said Dunedin Airport reached its hottest temperature on Tuesday afternoon since records began in 1972.
When temperatures hit 35degC at the airport it surpassed the previous record of 34.9degC, set in February 1995.
On the same day, the high at Musselburgh was 29.1degC, which did not make it in the top 20 hottest temperatures for the site.
On Tuesday, 4mm of rain fell between 6pm and 9pm at Musselburgh, adding to the 9mm of rain earlier in January.
Dunedin usually gets about 70mm of rain in January.
The potential for rain was “good” for today and tomorrow.
“[It] looks to be at least 10mm and could be as much as 40mm, if you’re lucky.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Dunedin City Council 3 Waters group manager Tom Dyer asked Dunedin residents to conserve water to avoid compulsory water restrictions.
“Water levels in our catchments are dropping and demand is increasing.”
Water use had steadily increased since the start of the year and hit almost 60,000cum on Monday.
Normal demand for water was about 44,000cum, he said.
If a “decent rainfall” failed to arrive this week and demand continued, the council would need to move to the first level of compulsory restrictions before the weekend, he said.
The first stage would include restricting sprinkler use, washing of private cars, and irrigation of commercial nurseries and public gardens to between 8pm and 8am.