January was a month of two halves that, despite a spectacular end of the month, saw Wellington rank as the wettest main centre.
While NIWA's monthly climate summary shows Masterton had its driest January on record, Wellington actually received 120 per cent of its average rainfall for the month.
Nationally, January was a ''month of two halves - and two islands'', NIWA's summary noted.
''During the first half of the month, more northwesterly winds than usual affected the South Island, bringing unsettled weather and several heavy rainfall events to the South Island.
''But high pressures prevailed over the North Island during this time - meaning any fronts actually making it across the North Island fizzled - producing very little rainfall.''
The notable event of the later part of January was a ''blocking high'' which produced sunny and dry weather over much of New Zealand.
Of the six main centres in January, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin the coolest, Wellington the wettest, and Tauranga the driest and sunniest.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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