Climate Summary for November 2012

A cold November, but dry and sunny for many regions.

Temperature 

A cold November across New Zealand, with eastern areas affected most.

Rainfall 

Very dry across much of North Island (except Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay), as well as Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, and the West Coast of the South Island.  Also rather dry in Fiordland and Southland.  Wetter than usual for much of south Canterbury and Otago.  Near normal rainfall for north Canterbury.

Sunshine

Extremely sunny on the West Coast of the South Island; also rather sunny for much of the North Island and Nelson/Marlborough.  Near normal sunshine recorded in the eastern South Island, as well as in Auckland.  In contrast, below normal sunshine in Northland and across the Wairarapa.

Soil moisture

Unusually low soil moisture levels for the time of year across much of the North Island (except Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay), as well as Nelson and Buller.  Wetter than usual soils in south Canterbury.  Close to normal soil moisture levels elsewhere.   

Overview

It was a cold November across New Zealand, due to more frequent southerly winds than normal.  The southerly winds were the result of much higher than usual pressures over the central and southern Tasman Sea, and lower than normal pressures east of the Chatham Islands.  The higher pressures also extended across most of New Zealand, as far east as Gisborne, meaning it was also a rather dry month for many regions. 

Well below average temperatures (more than 1.2°C below the November average) were observed in eastern areas of both Islands, as well as inland North Island areas from the Waikato extending southwards to Palmerston North.   Temperatures were generally below average (between 0.5°C and 1.2°C below the November average) everywhere else.   It was the coldest November on record for Te Kuiti and Cape Campbell.  The nation-wide average temperature in November 2012 was 12.8°C (0.9°C below the 1971-2000 November average), using NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which begins in 1909.

It was a very dry November for much of the North Island, as well as Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, and the West Coast of the South Island.  Rainfall was also below normal for Fiordland and Southland. 

It was the driest November on record for Te Puke and Rotorua.   November rainfall was less than 50 percent of November normal in south Auckland, Waikato/Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, between Wanganui and Wellington, parts of the Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, and on the West Coast northwards of Hokitika.  Below normal November rainfall (between 50 and 79 percent of November normal) was generally observed elsewhere.   The notable exceptions were Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay (with double normal November rainfall), and south Canterbury and much of Otago (with above normal rainfall, between 120 and 149 percent of November normal).  

As at December 1st, soils were unusually dry for the time of year across much of the North Island (except for Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay, where soil moistures remain elevated after heavy rainfall on the 12th), as well as Nelson and Buller.  In contrast, soils remain wetter than usual for the time of year across much of south Canterbury.  Elsewhere, levels were closer to normal.

It was an extremely sunny November for the West Coast of the South Island, with sunshine totals between 125 percent and 150 percent of November normal.  It was the sunniest November on record for Hokitika and Greymouth.  It was also rather sunny across much of the North Island and Nelson/Marlborough.  Sunshine totals were well above normal (exceeding 125 percent of November normal) for Nelson, around New Plymouth and Taumarunui, and the Central Plateau.  For the eastern South Island and Auckland, sunshine totals were close to November normal.  In contrast, below normal sunshine was experienced in Northland and the Wairarapa.

Further Highlights:

  • The highest temperature was 30.1°C, observed at Blenheim on 25 November. 
  • The lowest temperature was -5.1°C, recorded at Waiouru on 7 November.
  • The highest 1-day rainfall experienced was 137 mm at Milford Sound on 1 November.
  • The highest gust recorded was 161 km/hr at Cape Turnagain, on 18 November.
  • Of the six main centres in November 2012, Tauranga was the driest and sunniest, Dunedin the wettest and coolest, and Auckland the warmest but cloudiest.

Full report

Full details of the November 2012 climate summary (PDF 570 KB)

Climate statistics table

Climate statistics for November 2012 (PDF 80 KB)

For further information, please contact:

Ms Georgina Griffiths

Climate Scientist - NIWA National Climate Centre, Auckland

Tel 09 375 4506, Mobile 027 293 6545

Ms Petra Chappell

Climate Analyst  - NIWA National Climate Centre, Auckland

Tel 09 375 2052