LATEST: It will come as little surprise to most New Zealanders that the country shivered through the coldest October in 64 years.
In its climate summary for the month, the Niwa said the average temperature nationwide was 10.6degC _ 1.4degC below average.
Such a cold October has occurred only four times in the past 100 years, the last time in 1945.
It was only fractionally warmer than August, which recorded a warmer-than-normal average temperature of 10.4degC.
Niwa said October was shaped by a series of southerly fronts, all-time record low temperatures in many areas, and unseasonable late snowfalls.
The heaviest October snowfall since 1967 occurred in Hawke's Bay and the central North Island on Octobe 4 and 5 stranding hundreds of travellers, closing roads, and resulting in heavy lambing losses.
Not only was it cold, but it was also wet.
Rainfall was near-record (more than 200 percent of normal) in parts of Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and the Tararua district, and well above normal in the remaining east of the North Island, as well as Wellington, Marlborough and parts of Canterbury.
It was, however, dry and sunnier than usual on the West Coast of the South Island.
For those pinning their hopes on a quick thaw, Niwa is predicting temperatures over the next three months to be near average for the North Island and top of the South Island, but below average elsewhere.
Should travellers be restricted from renting cars if they have not been in the country longer than 24 hours?
View obituaries from around the region.
View marriage and birth notices from around the region.
• Reporters: News, Business, Sport, Features
• Newsroom 0800 366 7678
• Website ideas: Email or tweet us
• Place an ad: Email or call 04 474 0000
• Subscribe: Email or call 0800 50 50 90
• No paper: Call 0800 50 50 90
• Start or stop your paper
• View the Digital Edition
• Make dompost.co.nz your homepage