3 May 2016

Unusually balmy April countrywide

1:56 pm on 3 May 2016

April has been a very warm month with temperatures in some parts of New Zealand 2°C above normal and throughout the country temperatures were on average 1°C to 1.5°C above normal.

"Over all April was a warm month, but we've had a warm year so far full stop," MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said.

"The first week of May it's looking like we'll have above average temperatures and past that it's still going to track as a very mild May."

Invercargill had its second warmest April on record, Nelson recorded its sunniest ever April and North Wellington and Wairarapa both had a particularly dry April.

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Southland basked in unusually sunny, dry weather in April. Photo: Wikicommons

April's balmy temperatures were caused by a blocking high pressure, which has dominated the New Zealand region since the start of the year.

Wellington had its third sunniest April achieving one-in-thirty-year April sunshine totals.

Above average temperatures throughout New Zealand were seen for the fourth month running, with temperatures typically 1°C to 1.5C above usual.

Southland had temperatures that were 2°C above the April average. Most of the country recorded rainfall around half of April's normal level, the exception being the southwest of the South Island which was in the normal to wet range and Whitianga in the north.

MetService is forecasting an extremely mild May. A wet month is forecast for the West Coast, with normal to above normal totals for the southwest North Island, Buller and Southland. A drier than usual May is expected for the eastern North Island and Wellington. In all other regions, closer to normal rainfall is signalled, with the bulk of the rain likely next week.