Dry, cool January in the Waikato

If you thought January was a bit cooler than it should have been, you were right.

Waikato, along with the South Island, Manawatu and Whanganui, experienced temperatures that were well-below normal at the start of summer, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

Niwa's January climate summary showed average temperatures across Waikato were more than 1.2 degrees Celsius below historic averages for the month.

And for parts of the region, January temperatures were at near record lows.

Whatawhata had its second coldest January since 1952, with an average air temperature of 15.9C - 2.4C below normal.

Niwa's Te Kuiti station recorded an average monthly temperature of 16.2C - a 2.2C drop from normal and its third lowest since 1959.

Hamilton was also unseasonably cool - 1.6C below average - and rainfall was 47 per cent of normal.

The report will make ominous reading for farmers in parts of the Waikato, confirming rainfall was less than 50 per cent of the monthly average and soils were drier than usual.

The dry weather has already sparked concern among some farmers in the region who fear another ruinous drought like last summer's.

The average temperature for the country was recorded as 16.2 degrees - 0.9C below the 1971-2000 average for the month.

Waikato Times