3 Sep 2008

Winter a season of extremes

10:37 pm on 3 September 2008

Winter was a season of frequent weather extremes, with higher than normal rates of sunshine and rainfall recorded.

It was a winter of landslips, floods and lost livestock for many parts of New Zealand, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Manawatu, Wanganui and Wellington were among those places to record their wettest winter on record.

Winter rainfall was double the normal level in Marlborough and Canterbury and 1½ times the normal level in the north and west of the North Island, and eastern South Island.

However, Fiordland, Southland and much of the North Island exceeded their normal winter sunshine hours.

In the main cities, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin the driest, and Wellington both the wettest and sunniest.

The highest and lowest temperatures during winter were both recorded in Canterbury. Waipara West recorded the highest with 23.1°C on 15 June, while Arthur's Pass shivered on -9.5°C on 20 August.