November colder than normal across New Zealand
by Jan MacKenzie
November was colder and drier than average across most parts of New Zealand, with some areas recording their coldest ever temperatures for the month, says NIWA’s monthly report.
It was the coldest November on record for Te Kuiti and Cape Campbell, with temperatures generally 0.5C – 1.2C below the November average everywhere else.
The conditions were caused by higher than usual pressures over the central and southern Tasman Sea and low pressures east of the Chatham Islands, which caused more frequent southerly winds. The higher pressures also extended across most of New Zealand, as far east as Gisborne, making it a dry month for many regions.
Well below average temperatures (more than 1.2C below the November average) were observed in eastern areas of both islands, as well as inland North Island areas from the Waikato extending southwards to Palmerston North.
The highest temperature was 30.1C, observed at Blenheim on November 25, while the lowest temperature was -5.1C, recorded at Waiouru on November 7.
Te Puke and Rotorua experienced their driest ever Novembers, while rainfall was less than 50% of normal levels in south Auckland, Waikato/Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, between Wanganui and Wellington, parts of the Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, and on the West Coast northwards of Hokitika.
Below normal November rainfall (between 50-79% of November normal) was generally observed elsewhere. The notable exceptions were Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay (with double normal November rainfall), and south Canterbury and much of Otago (with above normal rainfall, between 120-149% of November normal).
The highest one-day rainfall experienced was 137mm at Milford Sound on November 1, while the sunniest November on record was recorded for Hokitika and Greymouth.
Of the six main centres in November 2012, Tauranga was the driest and sunniest, Dunedin the wettest and coolest, and Auckland the warmest but cloudiest.
The nationwide average temperature in November 2012 was slightly below the 1971-2000 November average, according NIWA’s records, which began in 1909.
NIWA predicts the coming summer season will be relatively dry and cool around New Zealand, particularly in the East Coast and central North Island.