Chatham Islands

The weather of the Chatham Islands is marked by rapid changes of conditions, and typically windy cloudy conditions.

Rainfall is moderate and reliable with a winter maximum. Although rain falls on the Chatham Islands on about 200 days a year, amounts are generally small. Most rain falls as showers in southerly airstreams, but occasional heavy rain is associated with warm northerlies.

The Islands are surrounded by the vast South Pacific Ocean. Temperature extremes are rare because of the ever present wind and also due to the influence of the ocean in modifying passing airstreams. Fishing plays a large role in the economic wellbeing of the Islands’ community, but rough seas and strong winds can curtail this activity. Gale force winds can blow for several days on end.

The climate of the Chatham Islands has been found suitable for sheep farming, and there are areas where, with suitable shelter, orchards and vegetable gardens are highly productive.

Read the report

Read the full report - The climate and weather of Chatham Islands - 2nd edition [PDF 3.8MB]

Suggested citation

Pearce, P.R. 2016. The climate and weather of the Chatham Islands. NIWA Science and Technology Series 73, 36 pp.

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A regional climatology is a summary of the typical weather and climate of a region, based on historical data observations made at climate stations located within the region. 

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PDF icon Chathams_Climate.pdf3.85 MB
Chatham Islands' regional climatology - the climate and weather of the Chatham Islands. [NIWA]