January was a month of climate contrasts, with heavy rain falling in the south while the rest of the country basked in record sunshine hours.
NIWA has released its first monthly climate summary of 2013, saying high pressures produced an extremely dry January for the North Island.
Less than 10% of normal rainfall was recorded in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and parts of Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
Christchurch, Cheviot, Ashburton, Lake Tekapo, and Waipawa in Hawke's Bay also experienced their sunniest January on record.
The rest of the South Island had a very wet month, with 50% more rainfall than average in most of Southland, as well as Central Otago, Nelson and Marlborough.
The highest temperature was 35.1 deg recorded at Clyde on 5 January.