Winter 2010

Sunny & dry in southwest; mild & wet for northeast.

  • Rainfall: Very wet in Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, Waikato, parts of Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, coastal Canterbury and parts of Otago. Extremely dry in the southwest of the South Island.
  • Sunshine: Very sunny in the south and west of the South Island; extremely cloudy for Christchurch, north Canterbury, Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa, and Taranaki.
  • Temperatures: A mild winter in the north and east of the North Island, as well as for the north and west of the South Island. Below average winter temperatures for parts of eastern Otago.

Winter (June – August) 2010 was characterised by more easterly winds than usual over southern and central districts. June was extremely wet except for the southwest of the country. July was dry and very sunny in western areas. August was warm, cloudy, and very wet for all regions except Fiordland and Southland.

The easterly winds of winter resulted in wet conditions in the northeast of both islands, but below normal rainfall in the southwest of New Zealand. It was extremely wet in Bay of Plenty, Marlborough and north Canterbury, with well above normal winter rainfalls (more than 150 percent of normal).Te Puke and Blenheim observed their highest winter rainfall totals on record. Winter rainfalls were above normal (between 120 and 150 percent of normal) in Waikato and Coromandel, parts of Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay, coastal south Canterbury and in parts of Otago. In contrast, winter rainfalls were below normal (between 50 and 75 percent of normal) in Fiordland and Southland. Elsewhere, winter rains were near normal (between 80 and 120 percent of normal).

It was an extremely sunny winter in the southwest. Well above normal sunshine totals were recorded (more than 125 percent of normal) in the Grey district, Westland, Fiordland, Southland and Otago. Greymouth, Invercargill and Balclutha experienced their highest-equal winter sunshine totals. Sunshine hours were above normal (between 110 and 125 percent of normal) in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Ruapehu district. In comparison, it was extremely cloudy in eastern and inland areas of the South Island north of about Banks Peninsula, as well as for Wellington, Wairarapa and Taranaki. Martinborough and Blenheim reported their lowest-equal winter sunshine totals on record. Elsewhere, sunshine hours were near normal.

Winter temperatures were above average (between 0.5°C and 1.2°C above average) in parts of the north and east of the North Island, in Nelson, along the West Coast and in Fiordland. Below average winter temperatures (between 0.5°C and 1.2°C below average) were observed for parts of eastern Otago. In other regions, winter temperatures were close to average (within 0.5°C of seasonal average). The New Zealand national average temperature was 8.7°C (0.5°C above the 1971-2000 winter average).

Further highlights:

  • The highest temperature was 22.2°C, recorded at Waipara on June 19th (a near-record at this site for winter).
  • The lowest temperature was -12.6°C, recorded at Lake Tekapo on August 10th (not a record).
  • The highest 1-day rainfall was 255 mm recorded at North Egmont on August 13th (not a record).
  • The highest wind gust was 141 km/hr, recorded at Cape Turnagain on July 27th (not a record).
  • Of the six main centres, Auckland was the warmest, Christchurch the coolest and cloudiest, Tauranga was the wettest but also the sunniest, and Dunedin the driest.

Full report

For further information, please contact:

Ms Georgina Griffiths – Climate Scientist– NIWA National Climate Centre, Auckland
Tel. (09) 375 4506 or (027) 293 6545

Dr Andrew Tait – Climate Scientist– NIWA National Climate Centre, Wellington
Tel. (04) 386 0562 or (027) 327 7948

Michele Hollis, NIWA Communications Manager
Tel. (04) 386-0483 or (027) 255 2500