Climate scientists are still crunching the numbers but they expect Dunedin has had its warmest January on record.
Temperatures soared to 35degC on the Taieri and 34degC in Dunedin yesterday, forcing some facilities to close.
Dunedin North Intermediate started sending pupils home in the early afternoon and the Mosgiel Public Library shut its doors to the public about the same time, due to rising temperatures.
Niwa climate scientist Nava Fedaeff told The Star yesterday morning Dunedin Airport was on track for having its warmest January since records began in 1972.
The airport reached 35degC on January 15, its warmest January temperature on record.
The airport recorded its warmest January minimum temperature, 21.5degC, the next day.
Musselburgh was expected to have had its second-warmest January since records began in 1947.
Overnight on Saturday, Musselburgh had its fourth-warmest January minimum temperature, the mercury staying above 18.6degC.
Rainfall in Dunedin was about half the normal amount at both stations, Miss Fedaeff said.
However, Dunedin had had many drier Januarys, she said.
People flocked to St Clair Beach this week to enjoy the warm weather.
Sisters Lucy and Millie Linwood recently returned home to Dunedin from a holiday with family in “freezing” London.
To make up for lost time at the beach, the siblings bought boogie boards on Tuesday.
Molly Moran and siblings Lola and Charlie Willis, of Dunedin, cashed in on the warm weather, yelling “lemonade” as they sold glasses of the drink for $1 each from a stall on the footpath in Bedford St.