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Climate extremes

Hottest, coldest, wettest, driest, sunniest, windiest ... find out here which places hold the record for climate extremes in New Zealand

New Zealand climate extremes, updated up until 31 December 2012


Rainfall*

 

Period Amount (mm) Site Date
Highest:
10 minutes 34 Tauranga 17 April 1948
1 hour 134 Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment)** From 2300 hours on 8 January 2004
12 hours 566 Hokitika at Prices Flat From 2311 hours on 11 May 1978
24 hours 758 Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment) From 0620 hours on 27 December 1989
48 hours 1049 Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment) From 1542 hours on 11 December 1995
1 calendar month 2927 Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment) December 1995
31 days 3813 Croppat Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment)  From 2054 hours on 19 October 1999 
1 calendar year 16617 Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment) January 1998 – December 1998
365 days 18413 Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika Catchment) From 0348 hours on 30 October 1997
Lowest:
3 months 9 Cape Campbell January–March 2001
6 months 52 Cape Campbell November 2000 – April 2001
12 months 167 Alexandra November 1963 – October 1964
1 calendar year 212 Alexandra January 1964 – December 1964
Longest rainless period:
71 days 0 Wai-iti, Marlborough From 8 February 1939

*Two sources of rainfall data were used:

The National Climate Database, CliFlo, with all data from mainland New Zealand stations included. Rainfall data used were 9am-9am 24-hour totals.

CliFlo

The National Hydrometric Database, EDENZ, with all data from mainland New Zealand stations included. Rainfall data used were near-instantaneous. For example, the 566 mm recorded at Cropp at Waterfall (Hokitika catchment) occurred between 2311 NZST on 11 May 1978 and 1111 NZST on 12 May 1978. For the calendar month and calendar year totals, the data start at 0000 NZST.

EDENZ

**Cropp at Waterfall is a gauge sited near the waterfall on the Cropp River, which is a tributary of the Whitcombe River, itself a tributary of the Hokitika River.

 

Temperature#

 

Location Temperature (°C) Site Date
Highest air temperature:
North Island 39.2 Ruatoria 7 February 1973
South Island 42.4 Rangiora 7 February 1973
Lowest air temperature:
North Island –13.6 Chateau Tongariro 7 July 1937
South Island
–25.6 Ranfurly, Eweburn 17 July 1903*
Lowest grass minimum:

–21.6 Lake Tekapo 4 August 1938

#Climate data were sourced from the National Climate Database, CliFlo, with all data from mainland New Zealand stations included. All temperature data from stations below 500 m AMSL were included.

CliFlo

*Data entry of historical New Zealand climate records, from paper into electronic format, is an on-going activity. This datum was archived into the National Climate Database, CliFlo, on 26 February 2009. Newspaper reports at the time in The Otago Witness and The Tuapeka Times described extreme impacts from snow and severe temperatures in the region, consistent with the recorded temperatures. 

 

Sunshine#


Location Total (hours) Site Year
Highest in one year: 
North Island 2602 Whakatane 2012
South Island 2711 Nelson 1931
Highest in one month: 
North Island 335 Taupo January 1950
South Island 336 Nelson December 1934
Lowest in one year: 
North Island 1357 Palmerston North 1992
South Island 1333 Invercargill 1983
Lowest in one month: 
North Island 27 Taumarunui June 2002
South Island 35 Invercargill June 1935

#Climate data were sourced from the National Climate Database, CliFlo, with all data from mainland New Zealand stations included. 

CliFlo


Wind gusts#

 

Location Speed (km/h) Site Date
North Island 248 Hawkins Hill, Wellington 6 November 1959 & 4 July 1962
South Island 250 Mt John, Canterbury 18 April 1970

#Climate data were sourced from the National Climate Database, CliFlo, with all data from mainland New Zealand stations included.

CliFlo