July month of weather extremes

South Canterbury experienced the national highest and lowest temperatures for July.

Timaru experienced the highest temperature at 22.7 degrees Celsius on July 31 and Lake Tekapo had the lowest at -9.8C on July 16.

While soil moisture levels were normal for most of the country, Timaru was the only location with below normal soil moisture levels, which coincided with low rainfall in the area during July.

Pockets of below average temperature (-1.2C to -0.51C) were recorded in the districts of Waitomo and Ruapehu, whereas above average (0.51C to 1.2C) temperatures were observed in Southern Canterbury and Otago.

The highest one-day rainfall was 159.4mm, recorded at Kaikohe on July 8 and the strongest wind gust was 191kmh, at Cape Turnagain on July 5.

Of the six main centres, Christchurch was the coolest and driest, Auckland the warmest, Wellington the wettest, Tauranga the sunniest and Dunedin the cloudiest. The sunniest four centres so far in 2014 were Whakatane (1586 hours), Tauranga (1433 hours), Takaka (1364 hours) and Nelson (1361 hours).

According to MetService, Timaru can expect an average temperature of 13.5C over the next 10 days.

The Timaru Herald