Ruben, 6, and Amelia Niemand, 7, enjoying the weather at Tahunanui beach yesterday Photo: Charles Anderson.

Nelsonians making most of warm waters

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You are not imagining it – summer has come early to Nelson.

Tahunanui Beach was packed over the weekend as hundreds flocked to experience the blazing sun and unusually warm water.

“It’s definitely hotter, warmer, wickeder, and with more people than we’ve seen,” Moana SUP owner Toby Wild said.

Official data seems to back that up. Niwa says ocean temperatures around New Zealand have been, on average, 2C warmer than usual and up to 6C warmer around the west coast.

Over the weekend, temperatures in the region hit the mid to high 20 degrees Celsius.

Toby can attest to that. He has been back on the beach since September and says the number of people at the beach, paddleboarding, and swimming is the largest he’s seen this early on in the season.

Toby says he has seen well over twice as many swimmers as this time last year.

“People are swimming without any hesitations. This time last year they were extremely tentative but now they’re even coming down in the evening when it’s usually much cooler, and we’re getting so many people coming up to us saying, ‘it’s so warm down here’, it’s great.”

And the weather is set to continue this week.

MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said the high pressure ridge across the country was set to persist until Friday, which means a continuation of warm, settled weather.

Jana Niemand brought her family up to Nelson from Ashburton on holiday.

“The weather is amazing. We have been swimming every day and the kids love it. Nelson is our happy place.”

Nelson will continue to hit the mid 20-degrees mark until Sunday, when rain is forecast.

TOP TIPS TO STAYING COOL:

1. Stay hydrated throughout the day

2. Keep the curtains, particularly in the bedroom, closed during the day. Open the windows in the evening when the air is cooler.

3. Fill a hot-water bottle up with cold water instead and place it in the freezer. Place it under your feet or use it when you go to sleep.

4. Place a bowl of ice in front of an electric fan.