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November was wild – NIWA

November was a good month to put the washing out, with unprecedented dry weather in some areas coupled with high winds, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) says.

Tauranga had record dry weather last month and it was also extremely dry in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

There was also record low rainfall in Northland, parts of Auckland, the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Canterbury, Otago and inland Southland.

Monthly temperatures were below average in Auckland and Christchurch, near average in Hamilton and Wellington, and above average for Tauranga and Dunedin, Niwa said.

Sunshine totals for November were near normal, except Dunedin where it was above average and Auckland, which was cloudy.

Of the six main centres, Tauranga was the warmest, driest and sunniest, Wellington the wettest, and Christchurch was the coolest, Niwa said.

The highest temperature was 32.1degC recorded at Whakatane on November 24 – the highest temperature for November that Niwa had recorded.

Record or near-record warm afternoon conditions were experienced in the east of the South Island on November 21 and 23, due to strong northwesterly winds.

The coldest temperature for the month was recorded at Waiouru of -3.2degC on November 12.

Minimum temperature records for November were broken at Whangarei, Gore, Warkworth and Dunedin.

The highest one-day rainfall was 122.3mm, which fell at Milford Sound on November 14.

High winds caused havoc across much of the country, with the strongest gust of 184km/h felt at Southwest Cape on Stewart Island on November 4.

Extreme winds on the same day were also felt over parts of Fiordland, Southland, Central Otago and Canterbury, where a container ship broke free from its moorings at the Port of Lyttelton.

On November 13 strong winds also created havoc in Canterbury, grounding helicopters, felling trees and downing powerlines.

Winds were too strong in Masterton for three original World War 1 planes and 17 replicas to take to the skies at the Remembrance Day Air Show on November 14.

The following day gale force winds toppled the main food and wine tent at Toast Martinborough.

On November 27 extreme winds blew in Central Otago and Southland. Caravans were knocked over in Canterbury on November 28 and gusts to 130km/h were felt in West Melton, 23km west of Christchurch, Niwa said.

– NZPA

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