Dunedin was the coolest and cloudiest of New Zealand's main
centres for March, while Christchurch was the wettest.
The North Island was abnormally dry for the start of autumn,
but the eastern areas of Otago and Canterbury received normal
to well-above-normal rainfall, principal scientist Dr Mike
Niwa's March climate summary showed Dunedin experienced 153%
of normal rainfall at 98mm and Christchurch received 123mm,
269% of normal.
In comparison, Hamilton received 6mm or 7% of its normal
rainfall - its second-driest March on record.
Dunedin's temperature was near average at 13.6degC and
Christchurch's was below average at 13.7degC.
Although Dunedin was the cloudiest city, it received more
sunshine than normal with 172 hours.
Elsewhere in Otago no weather records were broken, although
Wanaka recorded its third-lowest March rainfall of 11mm, only
27% of normal.
The few moderate to heavy rainfalls during the month were due
to abnormally high pressure over much of the country combined
with periods of lower pressure, Dr Revell said.
Otago and Canterbury had wetter-than-normal soils for the
time of year along coastal areas.