6 Jan 2011

Double rainfall in December for parts of NZ

4:50 pm on 6 January 2011

Latest data from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research shows some parts of New Zealand had more than double their normal rainfall in December.

NIWA's climate centre has issued its official summary for the month. Most of New Zealand had a warm but rainy December.

NIWA says the temperatures in the last month of the year were well above average in many parts of the country, but there were fewer sunshine hours than normal in many places too.

The institute says that was due to a higher than usual number of anticyclones or highs to the east of the North Island, resulting in more airflows from the north.

A severe storm passing over the country near the end of the month resulted in significant downpours, contributing to rainfall that was up by at least 200% in Northland, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough and the Southern Alps.