Climate summary for November 2016

A wet and cloudy month for many.

Rainfall

Rainfall was above normal (120-149% of normal) for large parts of the North Island with the exception of coastal Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay where below normal (50-79% of normal) or well below normal (<50% of normal) rainfall was observed. In the South Island, rainfall was above normal in Otago, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough and large parts of Canterbury while Southland received near normal rainfall (80-119% of normal).

Sunshine

Sunshine was below normal (75-89% of normal) for virtually the entire South Island with the exception of parts of coastal Otago and Canterbury where near normal (80-109% of normal) sunshine hours were observed. Sunshine was also below normal in Taranaki, western Manawatu-Whanganui and Wellington. Conversely above normal (110-125% of normal) sunshine was observed in Northland as well as eastern Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

Temperature

 

November temperatures were near average (-0.50 to 0.50°C) for much of New Zealand.  The exceptions were Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay as well as parts of Manawatu-Whanganui and coastal Canterbury which observed above average temperatures (0.51°C to +1.20°C).

Soil Moisture

At the end of November 2016, soil moisture levels were below normal for the time of year for northern Waikato, the East Cape, southern Hawke’s Bay and northern Canterbury. Above normal soil moisture levels for the time of year were found around the Wellington, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Bay of Plenty, Southland and Otago regions. Soil moisture levels for the remainder of the country were near normal for this time of year.

Overview

A series of stormy low pressure systems passed over New Zealand during November 2016. These lows brought with them more rain, cloud and westerly winds than typically observed during November. As detailed in the Highlights and Extremes section, two such lows brought copious rain to the country’s capital just days apart. As a result Wellington observed its wettest November on record, with records beginning in 1928. The surrounding areas of Upper Hutt and Paraparaumu also observed near record November rainfall totals due to the events. Above normal rainfall (120-149% of the November normal) was likewise observed in the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Tasman and Nelson as well as parts of Marlborough and Otago. Conversely, rainfall was below normal (50-79% of the November normal) or well below normal (<50% of the November normal) in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, with Gisborne receiving just 18% of its usual November rainfall.

The above normal rainfall seen in many parts of the country during November also meant that the sky was cloudier than normal over the wet areas. In the North Island, western areas saw the least amount of sunshine with both Paraparaumu and Palmerston North recording their cloudiest November on record (with records extending back to 1953 and 1930 respectively). The cloud did not extend to Northland though where above normal sunshine was observed (110-125% of the November normal), with Whangarei seeing its second sunniest November on record (records extend back to 1954). Sunshine was also above normal in eastern Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. Sunshine was below normal (75-89% of the November normal) for virtually the entire South Island with the exception of coastal parts of Canterbury and Otago where sunshine hours were near normal (80-109% of the November normal).

Despite the rain and cloudy skies, November temperatures around the country were mostly in the near average range (-0.50°C to +0.50°C of the November average). The exceptions were Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay as well as parts of Manawatu-Whanganui and coastal Canterbury which observed above average temperatures (0.51°C to +1.20°C of the November average). The nationwide average temperature in November 2016 was 14.1°C (0.4°C above the 1981-2010 November average from NIWA’s seven station temperature series which begins in 1909), making November 2016 the warmest November since 2013.

The rain over central New Zealand during November raised soil moisture levels to above normal for the time of year around Wellington, Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and large parts of Bay of Plenty, Otago and Southland. Despite this, drier than normal soils continue to persist for northern coastal Canterbury and coastal Wairarapa.

Further highlights:

  • The highest temperature was 34.8°C, observed at Gisborne on 23 November. This was the 2nd warmest temperature recorded in New Zealand during November on record.
  • The lowest temperature was -1.5°C, observed at Hanmer Forest on 1 November.
  • The highest 1-day rainfall was 175.8 mm, recorded at Milford Sound on 8 November.
  • The highest wind gust was 182 km/hr, observed at Cape Turnagain on 29 November.
  • Of the six main centres in November 2016, Wellington was the wettest and cloudiest, Dunedin was the coldest, Christchurch was the driest, Tauranga was the sunniest and Auckland and Tauranga were equally warmest.
  • Of the available, regularly reporting sunshine observation sites, the sunniest four locations in 2016 so far (1 January – 30 November) were Richmond (2551 hours), Blenheim (2339 hours), Takaka (2288 hours) and New Plymouth (2228 hours).

Download 

Download the November 2016 Monthly Climate Summary [PDF 498.16 KB]

Climate Statistics for November 2016 [PDF 70 KB]

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Mr Chris Brandolino
Principal Scientist – Forecasting, NIWA National Climate Centre
Tel. 09 375 6335
Mobile 027 886 0014.