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A mild autumn for most – Our latest govt climate summary

With the advent of a new season, we take a look back at the highs, lows and in-betweens of the one just gone – in this case, an autumn which brought mixed results for different parts of the country.
Check out some of the highlights from the government’s climate centre, below.

Temperature

Autumn temperatures were above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C) for many parts of the country. It was a particularly warm autumn in parts of eastern Canterbury, West Coast and Taranaki where temperatures were well above average (> +1.20°C). Temperatures were near average (-0.50°C to +0.50°C) in southeastern parts of Southland and Otago, inland mid-Canterbury and parts of the central North Island.

Rainfall

Rainfall was below normal (50-79%) or well below normal (< 50%) for some eastern areas of New Zealand including South Canterbury, North Canterbury, Wairarapa, northern Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne. Rainfall was either above normal (120-149%) or well above normal (> 149%) for southwestern and western parts of both the South Island and North Island, and much of Waikato.

Soil moisture

As of 1 June 2015, soil moisture levels were below normal for this time of year for East Cape, coastal Wairarapa, southern Marlborough and eastern parts of Canterbury. It was especially dry about North Canterbury where soils were considerably drier than normal for this time of year.

Sunshine

Autumn sunshine was above normal (110-125%) for the eastern Bay of Plenty, East Cape, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and eastern North Canterbury where autumn sunshine. Most remaining areas of New Zealand received near normal sunshine (90-109%). The exception was parts of Taranaki and the West Coast where autumn sunshine was below normal (75-89%).

Further Highlights:

  • The highest temperature was 32.1°C, observed at Hanmer Forest on 5 March.
  • The lowest temperature was -9.0°C, observed at Hanmer Forest on 28 May.
  • The highest 1-day rainfall was 206 mm, recorded at North Egmont 8 April.
  • The highest wind gust was 178km/hr, observed at Cape Turnagain on 13 May.
  • Of the six main centres in autumn 2015, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin was the coolest and cloudiest, Christchurch was the driest, Hamilton was the wettest and Tauranga was the sunniest.
  • Of the available, regularly reporting sunshine observation sites, the sunniest four centres so far in 2015 (1 January to 31 May) are: Whakatane (1200 hours), Blenheim (1182 hours), Waipara West (1173 hours) and Appleby (1173 hours).

– NIWA 

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