Long-standing winter temperature records have been broken
It has been the warmest winter on record for the country and
for most parts of Otago, Niwa confirmed yesterday.
Niwa principal scientist Dr Brett Mullan said winter's mean
temperatures were well above average throughout Southland and
Otago, except for South Otago.
The nationwide average winter temperature was 9.5degC -
1.2degC above the winter average.
Dunedin's Musselburgh 66-year mean winter temperature record
was broken with 8.4degC, which was 1.3degC warmer than
Also broken were Oamaru's 105-year record with 8.4degC,
1.3degC warmer than normal, and Alexandra's 30-year record
with 5.7degC recorded, 1.5degC warmer.
Mean maximum air temperature records were also broken with
11.9degC at Musselburgh, 10.3degC in Wanaka and 10.1degC in
The records were broken because higher-than-normal pressures
to the north, west and south of New Zealand caused more
northerly and northeasterly air flow than usual, Dr Mullen
That caused the largely settled conditions across the country
for much of July and August, resulting in high mean
temperatures for the time of year in many locations.
However, an early winter east-southeasterly flow over the
South Island contributed to well-above-normal rainfall east
of the Southern Alps, he said.
Records were broken as Alexandra recorded 141mm, 175% of
normal, and nearby Lauder 141mm, 179% of normal.
Cromwell recorded its second-highest winter rainfall of 164mm
and Ranfurly its third-highest at 142mm.
While Dunedin recorded above-normal rainfall for winter of
234mm, it was the driest of New Zealand's six main centres,
behind Christchurch's 285mm and Wellington's 470mm.
Christchurch beat Dunedin to the coldest winter city with
7.7degC, compared with Dunedin's 8.4degC.
Contributing to the warm winter in Otago were record-breaking
August mean temperatures of 7.7degC in Wanaka, 6.3degC in
Ranfurly, 9.5degC in Dunedin and 9.1degC at Nugget Point.
Mean maximum air temperatures and mean minimums were also
high throughout the district, with most places recording
their second, third or fourth-highest since records began.
Dunedin was also the driest of the six main centres in August
with 30mm, only 55% of normal.