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Rainfall reaches record extreme

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 11:31 05/11/2012

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A wintry October has broken a decades-old rainfall record.

A total of 176.7mm of rain fell in Invercargill last month, surpassing the October monthly record of 175mm logged in 1946.

45S Weather Services manager Andy Fraser said a series of deep depressions passing near the bottom of New Zealand were responsible for the miserable month.

"It was just one of those ones when the weather didn't let up until the last few days of the month. The lows were relentless."

The month also proved quite windy, with gusts measuring up to 102kmh, and more than a little chilly - the lowest October afternoon high since 1982 was recorded during the month, at 12.5 degrees Celsius.

However, the wintry weather had been a good thing for the region, Mr Fraser said.

"Everyone's been complaining, but there is a flipside."

A near drought last summer, followed by dry spells in autumn and late winter, meant water levels in lakes and rivers were running low heading into summer, jeopardising hydroelectricity supply. Thanks to the record rainfall in October, water levels were now recharged, he said.

Mr Fraser could not make promises for the months ahead, but warned not to expect summer sun as a given.

"It's just wildly unpredictable."

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