Higher temperatures forecast for Wellington

Last updated 13:10 08/01/2014

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It might come as a surprise, but Wellington was the driest and sunniest place to be in December according to NIWA’s latest data.

The December Climate Summary shows Wellington was 1.3 degrees celsius above its average December temperature — though still hovering at about 16.7.

The city only had 62 per cent of its usual rainfall and 226 sunshine hours — more than Auckland and Tauranga.

Temperatures were above average for much of the country, with Clyde taking out the top spot with 34.2 degrees celsius on December 5.

But it wasn’t all good news — Middlemarch recorded -1.2 degrees celsius on December 1 and winds got up to 152 kmh at Cape Turnagain on December 21.

Overall, Wellington was the driest and sunniest, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin was the coolest and cloudiest, and Tauranga was the wettest of the six main centres.

NEXT FEW MONTHS WARMER, UNSETTLED

Temperatures are likely to be higher than usual over the North Island in the next three months — but it’s also looking pretty unsettled.

The NIWA Seasonal Outlook for January to March predicts lower than normal pressures in the Tasman Sea, which principal scientist Brett Mullan said brings unsettled weather patterns.

‘‘It’ll be a bit unsettled, more of the same — the last week or so has been very changeable, fine one day and rain the next.’’

Dr Mullan said it’s hard to predict weather for holidaymakers with the seasonal outlook, but the most likely scenario was changing weather.

The central North Island, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu and Wellington will probably see higher than average temperatures, and normal rainfall, soil moisture and river flows.

Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa should also get above average temperatures and normal rain, soil moisture and river flows.

The outlook also predicts that sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average around the whole of New Zealand — good news for swimmers.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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