With record breaking temperatures, officials have issued health warnings, but what else can you do to keep cool in the first heatwave of 2019?
The official advice is to stay inside, drink lots of water and limit alcohol, but there are also paddling pools, cold showers and the Kiwi classic - ice blocks. Megan Whelan asked social media for its best advice.
One particularly useful piece of advice is a bowl of cold water or bag of ice - or an "ice block/chilly bin cooler blue thing tied to the front of it in a laundry delicates bag" - in front of a strategically placed fan. Just don't go opening the freezer too often.
This is also useful for particularly "super floofy" pets.
The guinea pigs have their own fan, are up by a window for airflow and have frozen water bottles and cooling sheets in their cage. I still worry, especially as Teri is in particular super floofy. pic.twitter.com/bu0jR8O0Kd— Anya - Chatty lass (@CabbageMittens) January 28, 2019
Pet cooling pads and fans are very popular in our house!— KSquared (@Ksquared56) January 28, 2019
We buys bags of ice and regularly top the pets bowls with it. We also feed bowls of ice to the baby.— Polly is a nice name (@__catpower) January 28, 2019
(Those same puppies seem to be doing OK.)
Video from this morning just becoz (it was already 30 degrees but puppers must do what puppers must do) pic.twitter.com/i7V8Iei2MM— Lesley (@Lesleyattalk) January 28, 2019
Eating ice cubes is also an option for the dogs. (Or chunks of cucumber straight from the fridge for guinea pigs.)
Paddington had been eating ice cubes— (@Hatepash1) January 28, 2019
(This is Paddington. He's not eating ice, but he is pretty adorable.)
Tara Sutherland offers this advice: "cooling mats for the dogs and bandanas soaked in cold water and then frozen."
Also Mum's 1wk old kittens and their mama are enjoying the cool of an ice pack under the towel in their box pic.twitter.com/EWYC8ZOXYu— Aunty Hōhā (@fuck_lupus) January 28, 2019
Being able to afford air conditioning or a heat pump is another theme of the social media advice.
TBH, all I really can do is make myself drink a LOT of water and be thankful I've got meds on hand if I end up with a migraine. Can't afford to spike the power bill by sitting on top of a fan.— Craig Ranapia (@CMRanapia) January 28, 2019
We are privileged to have air conditioning. I’ve cranked it up so high my children needed woollen blankets in the lounge. I have no regrets.— Rae (@RachaelMulholla) January 28, 2019
Today I am grateful that I’m at work and have the benefit of air conditioning.— Brian in Welly (@Brian_NZ) January 28, 2019
Windows open at night, plenty of cold water out for my cat, fan blowing to ensure air circulation, all the windows & doors open when I am home during the day, bottles of water kept in the fridge … desperately wishing I had a heat pump so I could turn on for cold.— Sarah Hendrica Bickerton (@sarahhbickerton) January 28, 2019
If air conditioning isn't an option, then maybe leaving the house to head somewhere cool is - shopping malls, cinemas, museums are all usually pretty chilly.
A dress that is more like a roomy tent and lingering in the liquor store beer fridge.— Fourandtwenty (@MuscatMoggy) January 28, 2019
Closing curtains and opening windows seems to help - and is great for those of us who like being shut in dark cool(ish) rooms.
Air con, a regularly restocked ice tray for both humans and the cat, ice cream in the freezer, all windows and doors open as often as possible when home.— Libby Greatnews (@MrsGreatnews) January 28, 2019
Best way to sleep is slightly damp PJs or sheet as it creates a cooling evaporation effect. Keeping curtains closed during the day helps stop the house heating up. And, it Welly, we have airflow. I've got windows open NSEW— Steph Coutts (@smcoutts) January 28, 2019
drink beer and white wine. put the dog in the doorway where out of the sun and breezy. if there was no breeze, we would put a fan on him. and watch the cricket.— Johnny be good (@jabbawaiuku) January 28, 2019
Ice cream, ice blocks, and running under the hose -or at least getting into water - are all good options.
Small person is mostly subsisting off of copius amounts of ice cream and ice blocks. The instant ice block maker I bought last year has had a workout. I also try to keep him covered up. pic.twitter.com/PjW9PpLzvC— Lucy (@ColinSteals) January 28, 2019
I just bought my cousins ice blocks and the put them in a cool shower! It’s worked wonders!!— Katie Doyle (@KatieDoyle01) January 28, 2019
When in heatwaves in Australia my strategy is generally to spend the heat of the day in air conditioned places, drink a lot of water and eat a lot of watermelon, spend afternoons and evenings mostly submerged in water if possible, etc.— Merrin Macleod (@merxplat) January 28, 2019
A tepid bath every evening— Bonjela Lawson (@loumagooo) January 28, 2019
If at all possible, try not to work. (Granted, this may not be the most practical advice.)
Working in a bookstore/post office. Any brown paper or cardboard people have used for packaging has sucked up water in the humidity and the stamps/courier stickers won't stick— Eileen (@NZNeep) January 28, 2019
All the paperback book covers are curling
Kind of wishing that today wasn't my work for me from home day, because I'm not actually getting much done. I'd not advise sitting on the couch with a laptop, I think that's just making me hotter, so I'm about to retreat to my workroom, in the basement, where it's cooler.— The Sewphist (@TheSewphist) January 28, 2019
And if all those ideas fail - complaining about the weather is a time-honoured tradition.
It's 23 degrees. That's not a heatwave. It's just about warm enough. (Yes I'm an ex JAFA still adjusting to Wgtn weather.)— 9ftninja (@9ftnina) January 28, 2019
Moved to Dunedin!— Simon E Overall (@ginsengburger) January 28, 2019
My coping mechanism involves moaning incessantly about how hot and uncomfortable I am.— Natasha Lampard (@tashmahal) January 28, 2019
In the horrible European heatwave of 2018 I spent weeks moaning and lying naked on my couch until I eventually snapped and ordered a fan with same day delivery— Raquel (@raquelxmoss) January 28, 2019
Keep the advice coming - because the heat isn't going to stop any time soon.
Tomorrow looks hotter, by a few degrees in both Wellington and Auckland. Wanganui a degree or two hotter than today too. Will be a hot one!— WeatherWatch.co.nz (@WeatherWatchNZ) January 28, 2019