December is officially the first month of summer in this part of the world, although in more recent years there are some suggestions that the warmest season of the year doesn’t get underway properly until January.
Looking at the stats, Gisborne comes out overall as the warmest centre for daily maximums with an average of 23.3 degrees and we stay along the east coast of the North Island with Napier coming in second spot averaging 23 degrees exactly. Auckland and Hamilton are the warmest of the main centres with 22.2 degrees, Wellington is 18.6, Christchurch 21.2 and Dunedin is17.5 degrees.
Sunshine hours should be longer the further you head south, thanks mainly to the long evenings due to daylight saving but that isn’t necessarily the case. December can be relatively damp in the west and south of the mainland and can sometimes feel more like Spring (as witnessed in the cricket test last week in Dunedin).
Gore has the longest day of sunshine hours on record with 15 hours totalled on one particular day – this is more remarkable for the fact that it usually averages 6 hours during December.
Invercargill and Dunedin do share the unenviable honour of having the lowest average maximum temps with both on 17.5 degrees and Milford Sound is close behind with just 17.6.
Our weather is always changing and this month is once again proving as inconsistent as ever!
Weather Analyst – Richard Green
on 17/12/2008 8:12pm
“Sunshine hours should be longer the further you head south, thanks mainly to the long evenings due to daylight saving but that isn’t necessarily the case”
No its not because of DST because all its happened is the hours are moved in the day,its because the sun is in the southern hempisphere which because the sun is up longer in the sky and makes a shallower pass under the horizon furthur south therefore sets later and rises earlier than north in summer.
on 17/12/2008 10:43pm
Thanks SW for clarifying that point.
It can appear more obvious is what I should have said, due to the evenings being longer in the south but yes it is the suns more southern passing.
What I dislike about living on the mainland is when the weather is dull and we have more daylight hours to put up with it!!