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Wet and dry summer for New Zealand

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This summer, the North Island of New Zealand had a lot of rain! It was actually the second-wettest summer ever recorded!

In fact, Auckland had 5.5 times the normal amount of rain for the summer, and other big cities like Napier, Gisborne, and Tauranga also had record-breaking rainfall.

On the other hand, the South Island had one of its driest summers ever. Many places had less than half of the normal amount of rain. However, February was also a warm month. The highest temperature was 35.6 degrees Celsius in Middlemarch, Otago.

These interesting facts have come from the latest climate summary for summer and February, which is written by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa)

Unfortunately, February was not all sunshine and rainbows. New Zealand had some of its worst weather disasters in February. In fact, parts of the North Island had at least 400% of their normal February rainfall. That’s a lot of rain! Napier had its third-wettest month, receiving over 600% of its normal rainfall. The highest amount of rainfall was 316 mm, recorded at Hawkes Bay on February 13th.

The summer weather in New Zealand was typical of La Nina summers. This means there was higher than normal air pressure observed to the east and south of New Zealand, with lower than normal pressure to the north and west. This resulted in more easterly and northeasterly winds than usual, drawing in warm and humid air from the tropics and sub-tropics. This partly explains why the northern and eastern parts of both islands experienced wet and cloudy weather while the west and south had sunnier and drier conditions.

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