Spring 2014

Near average temperatures for most of the country.

Temperature 

Spring temperatures were near average (-0.50°C to + 0.50°C) for much of the country.  The exception was parts of Otago and Waikato where temperatures were below average (-1.20°C to -0.51°C), and isolated parts of the Bay of Plenty where temperatures were above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C).

Rainfall

Rainfall was well below normal (< 50%) in Nelson and Marlborough, and below normal (50-79%) in eastern parts of Otago and Canterbury, Wellington, Kapiti Coast, Wairarapa and Bay of Plenty.  In contrast, rainfall was above normal (120-149%) or well above normal (> 149%) for south-western parts of the South Island.

Sunshine

Spring sunshine was abundant for eastern parts of Otago and Canterbury, Nelson, Wellington and Kapiti Coast where sunshine totals were above normal (110-125%), and in some cases well above normal (> 125%).

Soil moisture

As of 1 December 2014, soil moisture levels were below normal for the time of year for extensive areas of New Zealand, but especially for Nelson, Marlborough, Wellington, southern Wairarapa, the East Cape and Bay of Plenty.  Soil moisture levels were above normal in the southern and northern-most parts of the country.

Overview

Overall, spring 2014 was characterised by mean sea level pressures that were lower than normal to the south of the Chatham Islands, extending over the country, while higher pressures than normal affected the north Tasman Sea.  This resulted in strong westerly-quarter flow anomalies over much of the country.  For the season as a whole, temperatures were near average (-0.50°C to + 0.50°C) across most of the country.  The exception was parts of Otago and Waikato where temperatures were below average (-1.20°C to -0.51°C), and isolated parts inland Bay of Plenty where temperatures were above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C).  Despite mostly near average temperatures for spring overall, there was a noticeable change from September, when many North Island areas observed above average temperature, to November when temperatures were below average for many parts of the country.  The nation-wide average temperature in spring 2014 was 12.2°C (0.1°C above the 1971-2000 spring average from NIWA’s seven station temperature series which begins in 1909)[1].

Rainfall was well below normal (< 50%) in Nelson and Marlborough, and below normal (50-79%) in eastern parts of Otago and Canterbury, Wellington, Kapiti Coast, Wairarapa and Bay of Plenty.  In contrast, rainfall was above normal (120-149%) or well above normal (> 149%) for south-western parts of the South Island. Remaining areas of the country typically received near average rainfall (within 20% of average) for the season.  At the start of spring soil moisture levels were near normal for large parts of the country.  The exception was parts of Taranaki, the West Coast and Tasman as well as the districts of Selwyn, Waimakariri and Timaru, where soils were slightly drier than normal for the time of year.  As of 1 December 2014, soil moisture levels were below normal for the time of year for extensive areas of New Zealand, but especially for Nelson, Marlborough, Wellington, southern Wairarapa, the East Cape and Bay of Plenty.  Soil moisture levels were above normal in the southern and northern-most parts of the country.

It was a sunny spring for eastern parts of Otago and Canterbury, Nelson and Wellington where sunshine totals were generally above normal (110-125%).  In some cases the season was an exceptionally sunny one: well above normal sunshine (> 125%) was observed in south-eastern parts of Otago, eastern parts of North Canterbury, and along the Kapiti Coast.  Remaining areas of New Zealand observed near normal spring sunshine totals (within 10% of normal).

Further Highlights:

  • The highest temperature was 31.1°C, observed at Christchurch (Riccarton) on 22 November.
  • The lowest temperature was -6.9°C, observed at Middlemarch on 28 September.
  • The highest 1-day rainfall was 226 mm, recorded at Milford Sound on 21 November. 
  • The highest wind gust was 209 km/hr, observed at Cape Turnagain on 18 November.
  • Of the six main centres in spring 2014, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin was the coolest, Christchurch was the driest, Hamilton was the wettest and cloudiest, and Wellington was the sunniest.
  • Of the available, regularly reporting sunshine observation sites, the sunniest four centres[2] so far in 2014 (1 January to 30 November) are: Whakatane (2477 hours), Blenheim (2289 hours), Nelson (2283 hours) and Lake Tekapo (2255 hours).

Download the full report:

Seasonal Climate Summary - Spring 2014

For further information, please contact:

Mr Chris Brandolino
NIWA Forecaster – NIWA National Climate Centre
Tel. (09) 375 6335, Mobile (027) 866 0014