West Coast


West Coast is New Zealand’s wettest region, and this may be attributed to its exposure to the predominant westerly airflow over the country, combined with the orographic effect of the Southern Alps.

Annual rainfall totals at relatively high elevations regularly exceed 10,000 mm, with low elevation coastal locations typically recording between 2,000 and 3,000 mm of rainfall annually.

Temperatures in lowland areas remain mild throughout the year, with temperatures less than 0°C and greater than 25°C occurring infrequently compared to most other regions of New Zealand.

West Coast is not especially windy, and local wind regimes are strongly influenced by the southwest to northeast orientation of the Southern Alps.

Read the report

Read the full report - The climate and weather of the West Coast  - 2nd edition [PDF 3.3MB]

Suggested citation

Macara, G.R. 2016. The climate and weather of West Coast. NIWA Science and Technology Series 72, 40 pp.

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The climate and weather of the West Coast.