4 Mar 2017

NZ's summer weather: 'Unusually' cool and windy

4:31 pm on 4 March 2017

New Zealand's summer was officially cooler and windier in most of the country, with gusts in the capital that were "very unusual, even for Wellington", says Niwa.

Oriental Parade after weather bomb

A third of Wellington's summer days saw wind gusts hit gale force. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Niwa has released official statistics for the weather in the three months from December to February, which shows that nationwide, the average temperature was about half a degree below average.

Southland, West Coast, Tasman, Wellington and Waikato were all about one degree below their averages.

Takaka recorded its lowest average temperatures on record, while Paraparaumu had a record low for total sunshine hours.

But parts of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne were well above their average, with Wairoa experiencing its fourth hottest summer on record.

Northland and East Cape experienced rainfall that was less than half the normal amount for a summer, with Mahia at a record low, and Auckland registering the second lowest on record.

The summer was also a windy one, with Nelson, Waiouru and Motu, north of Gisborne, experiencing record wind gusts.

Niwa forecaster Chris Brandolino said it was a slow start to summer, and Wellington in particular was hit by more rain and wind.

"Wellington had 31 days where wind gusts hit gale force, so a third of the summer.

"Which is very unusual, even for Wellington."

He said temperatures were "unusually cool" across the South Island over the past three months, but it was a completely different story in Northland, where temperatures in Whangarei hit nearly 32 degrees and the Bay of Islands had many at near the 30 degree mark.

"But then February comes along and they get these heavy bouts of rain, and when you look at the data it looks like February was a wet month. But were it not for three or five days, it might not be the case."

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