Christchurch NZ's driest city

Extreme winds and dry weather define 2013

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 16:28 13/01/2014
Christchurch wind
Dean Kozanic
GALE FORCE WINDS: Noel Pakoti uses his own warning tape to seal off a tree resting on a power pole in St James Ave after strong winds in September.
Christchurch dry weather
Kirk Hargreaves
HOT AND DRY: Christchurch was New Zealand's driest city in 2013.

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Christchurch was the driest city in the country last year.

The annual climate summary has today been released by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric (NIWA), showing 2013 was the third-warmest year on record.

Temperatures were above average or near average for the entire country and ''temperature anomalies were especially high'' in parts of Banks Peninsula, the report said.

Of the six main centres in the country, Auckland was the warmest, Tauranga was the sunniest and Christchurch was the driest. Wellington was the wettest city and poor Dunedin was the coldest and cloudiest.

Below normal rainfall was experienced in parts of the North Island and the West Coast while Marlborough and North Canterbury saw above average rainfall levels.

More sunshine hours than normal were recorded in North Canterbury and the Canterbury High Country and Cheviot recorded its highest number of sunshine hours last year (2314) since records began in 1983.

The South Island was home to the highest and lowest air temperatures - Central Otago's Clyde recorded 35.1 degrees Celsius on January 5 and -12.1 degrees Celsius was recorded at Lake Tekapo on June 28.

NIWA's principal scientist of meteorology Dr Mike Revell said Canterbury experienced two adverse weather events in 2013 - the snow storm in June and the wind storm in September.

''The wind storm took out about 800 irrigators and caused a lot of damage....they were some very strong northwest winds,'' he said.

On September 10 a wind gust of 133 kilometres an hour was recorded in the city - the highest ever since 1972 - but Revell expected parts of the region saw gusts up to 160kmh during that storm. 

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- The Press

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