January was hottest month ever recorded in New Zealand

January was the hottest month ever recorded in New Zealand, and experts say climate change is one factor.

The heat has led to a shortage of fans that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern jokingly referred to as "fan-ageddon." Ardern says that while many people are probably enjoying a great summer, they also need to consider the long-term consequences of climate change, including sea-level rise.

Figures released Friday by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research indicate the average temperature during January was 20.3 degrees Celsius (68.5 Fahrenheit). That was more than 3 degrees Celsius above normal and beat the previous record of 19.6 Celsius set in February 1998.

Record-keeping began in 1909.

New Zealand has a relatively mild climate that is moderated by the surrounding ocean.