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May 2014 climate summary

Dry and sunny across much of the North Island, wet in southern and western parts of the South Island

Rainfall May rainfall was well above normal (more than 150% of normal) throughout Fiordland, western Southland, the Southern Lakes, Central Otago, and parts of the West Coast. In contrast, well below normal rainfall (less than 50% of normal) or below normal rainfall (50–79% of normal) was received throughout much of the North Island. It was especially dry about parts of Northland, the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and coastal Wairarapa, where rainfall was well below normal. Rainfall was near normal (within 20% of May normal) for parts of Manawatu-Whanganui, Nelson, inland Marlborough, North Canterbury, the Canterbury High Country and Dunedin.

Soil moisture As of 1 June 2014, soils were wetter than normal throughout the eastern South Island, the Southern Lakes and Central Otago. Soil moisture was near normal for the remainder of the South Island. In the North Island, drier than normal soils persist for parts of Auckland and Northland, whilst soils about northern Gisborne, the Central Plateau and Hawke’s Bay were also drier than normal. Soil moisture levels were near normal for most of the remaining areas of the North Island.

Temperature Temperatures were abnormally high for much of the South Island and lower half of the North Island, where mean temperatures were typically above average (0.5-1.2°C above average). Near normal temperatures (within 0.5°C of May normal) were observed elsewhere. A cold snap struck in the last week of May, bringing hail and snow to low levels over the lower South Island. This was followed by frosts across the country, which were severe in inland areas of the South Island. Parts of Auckland and Northland observed record or near-record low minimum temperatures on 28 May.

Sunshine Sunshine was well above normal (more than 125% of May normal) or above normal (110-124% of May normal) for most of the North Island. Areas of coastal Manawatu-Whanganui were the exception, where sunshine was near normal (within 10% of May normal). Sunshine was below normal in Fiordland (75-89% of May normal), well above normal in costal North Canterbury, and above normal in Canterbury north of Ashburton and South Otago. Remaining parts of the South Island observed near normal sunshine.


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