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The weather of Christmasses past and present

The weather of Christmasses past and present

If you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, you can’t beat it on Christmas Day either.

NIWA climate scientists have been crunching the data and made an important discovery: Wellington has had the hottest Christmas Day of the six main centres in the past 10 years.

With the capital reaching a very decent 28.6°C on Christmas Day last year, it beat out Dunedin’s hottest Christmas Day in a decade when it got to 28.1°C in 2009.

The hottest Christmas Day Tauranga could muster was 24°C in 2008 and 2009 while Auckland just beat that at 24.2°C, also in 2009.

But on Christmas Day next week the sun will be sporadic over the country as a front is expected to move through bringing periods of rain pretty much everywhere.

A low in the South Tasman Sea crosses south of New Zealand and extends a front back towards Australia.

That front will cross the country over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – it reaches Southland early morning on Tuesday, hits Wellington in the afternoon and Auckland early on Christmas Day. It comes with rain, followed by a few showers.

By Boxing Day another ridge is expected to cover the country bringing us back fine, sunny weather in most places.

Temperatures are expected to be average or above average. And the sunniest spot on Christmas Day? Sorry Wellington, this year it’s likely to be Hawke’s Bay.

The decade’s top temperatures of Christmas Days past in the main centres:

Auckland – 24.2°C in 2009
Tauranga - 24°C in 2008, 2009
Hamilton - 26.2°C in 2012
Wellington – 28.6°C in 2012
Christchurch – 27.6°C in 2005
Dunedin – 28.1°C in 2009

Other Christmas Day weather statistics show:

Dunedin has been the wettest of the main centres, with 1 mm or more of rain recorded on 3 of the past 10 Christmas Days.
Wellington has been the sunniest of the main centres on Christmas Day over the past 10 years, although in 2012 Dunedin recorded the sunniest Christmas Day of the main centres over the past 10 years.
There were several record temperatures for December set last year on Christmas Day, including 31.3°C at Martinborough and 32.5°C at Lauder.


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