Sun to chase away the showers

Don't ditch the umbrella until later on in the week, MetService warns, but overall there is still plenty of sun to chase away the showers.

After the festive season's unsettled weather, rain and showers have been forecast for much of both main islands early this week.

If you're hoping to top up a waning tan, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are the places to be, with both areas forecast to have the best fine, and settled, weather on offer in New Zealand this week.

Meanwhile, Niwa will tomorrow release its Annual Climate Summary for 2013. It will include analysis of rainfall, temperatures, sunshine hours and wind gusts around the country, as well as significant weather extremes during the year.

It will also reveal the sunniest spot in New Zealand last year, which in 2012 went to Whakatane, closely followed by Nelson.

Niwa last Wednesday released its climate summary for the month of December.

Temperatures were between .5 degrees Celsius to more than 1.2C above normal December averages for much of the country, aside from the Far North, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty and eastern parts of the South Island south of Christchurch.

Below normal rainfall (50-79 per cent of December normal) or well below normal (less than 40 per cent of December normal) were recorded over most of New Zealand. Areas to exceed average December rainfall were Northland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Kaikoura and southwestern Southland.

Niwa said December was a "very sunny month" for parts of Auckland, southern Northland, the southwestern North Island and the western South Island about northern Fiordland and the Westland glaciers.

Below normal sunshine was recorded in northern and inland parts of Otago and northern Southland.

The highest temperature recorded in December was 34.2C, in Clyde, Central Otago. The month's lowest temperature was -1.2C, recorded in Middlemarch, about 80km from Dunedin.

Sunday Star Times