2 Aug 2010

July sunnier and drier than usual

9:23 pm on 2 August 2010

A series of slow moving highs over New Zealand led to a drier, sunnier July than normal.

Figures from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) show the west and south of the South Island were extremely sunny, along with western areas of the North Island.

Frequent highs brought clear skies and dry conditions to many regions, with warmer afternoons but colder mornings.

The highest temperature was 19 degrees Celsius at Kaikohe on 29 July - a new record for the month - while the lowest temperature was minus 9.6 degrees Celsius at Hanmer on 12 July.

Well-below normal rainfall was recorded in the southwest of the North Island, along with Otago and the Tasman District.

Of the six main centres, Auckland was the warmest and Tauranga the sunniest.

Storms in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and North Canterbury brought higher than normal rainfall to those regions.

NIWA is forecasting near or above average temperatures for most of New Zealand for the next three months.