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Seasonal Climate Summary: Spring 2017


New Zealand Climate Summary: Spring 2017 Issued: 5 December 2017

Equal second-warmest spring on record for New Zealand

TemperatureSpring temperatures were well above average (> +1.20°C) in Central Otago, the Southern Lakes and Fiordland, and above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C) for most remaining areas of the country.
RainfallRainfall was below normal (50-79%) in Auckland, the Kapiti Coast, Wellington, and much of the South Island. Rainfall was well above normal (> 149%) in Tauranga, and above normal (120-149%) in parts of Northland and Waikato.
Soil moistureAs of 1 December, soils were significantly drier than normal for the time of year across a large portion of the South Island, particularly in the west, as well as the lower and western North Island. Soil moisture was slightly below normal or near normal in Central Otago, the Central Plateau, Gisborne, Coromandel Peninsula, and northern Northland.
SunshineSpring sunshine was above normal (110-125%) for much of the South Island. The exception was Christchurch, Nelson and Marlborough where sunshine was near normal (90-109%). In the North Island, sunshine was above normal in western areas from Taranaki to the Kapiti Coast. Spring sunshine was typically near normal for remaining areas of the North Island.


Overview

Overall, spring 2017 was characterised by mean sea level air pressures that were near normal around New Zealand, with no significant air flow anomalies. During September, sea level pressures were lower than normal over New Zealand, which resulted in unsettled weather and regular bouts of rainfall moving across the country. Higher than normal sea level pressures during October brought settled weather and warm temperatures over New Zealand during the month overall. November started settled and warm for most, but was followed by a brief cold outbreak which delivered unseasonably heavy low elevation snowfall to parts of the South Island. The spring season ended with an extended period of very warm and dry weather for most of the country due to a persistent ridge of high pressure, although the dry conditions were punctuated by afternoon convective rainfall events for isolated inland locations.

Further Highlights:

• The highest temperature was 33.3°C, observed at Cromwell on 23 November.

• The lowest temperature was -6.4°C, observed at Mt Cook Airport on 4 September.

• The highest 1-day rainfall was 126 mm, recorded at Hanmer Forest on 18 September.

• The highest wind gust was 169 km/h, observed at Akitio on 8 November.

• Of the six main centres in spring 2017, Auckland was the warmest and least sunny, Dunedin was the coolest and driest, Hamilton was the wettest and Wellington was the sunniest.

• Of the available, regularly reporting sunshine observation sites, the sunniest four locations so far in 2017 (1 January to 30 November) were Richmond (2296 hours), Blenheim (2285 hours), Whakatane (2225 hours) and Lake Tekapo (2215 hours).

Full summary: Climate_Summary_Spring_2017_Final.pdf


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