Dunedin very wet for February, with less sunshine

February is only half over but Dunedin has already experienced 150% of its normal monthly rainfall, thanks to an active La Nina creating tropical weather for the city.

Musselburgh has recorded rainfall on eight out of 13 days this month, with rain on nine days at Dunedin International Airport, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) climate scientist Georgina Griffiths says.

Since the beginning of the year, rain has fallen on just over half of the 43 days.

Rain has fallen on 23 days at Dunedin airport and 24 days at Musselburgh.

"The average number of rain days at both sites, for the full year, is 171 and 157 days per year, respectively, for the airport and Musselburgh - so we're 13% and 14% through our typical annual count of rain days, and we're 12.5% of the way through the year."

Contributing to February's rainfall total was an extremely heavy fall on February 6, with Dunedin airport recording 54mm and the city 24.2mm, Ms Griffiths said.

Other significant falls in the city were 30.6mm on February 7 and 15.2mm on February 8.

"Fifty-four millimetres on the 6th is a lot for ... this time of year."

Between 6pm and 4am on Sunday night, MetService figures showed 16mm fell in the city, 17mm at the airport and 19mm at Waitati, with 7mm of that falling between 10pm and 11pm.

"So far, the airport has already recorded 89mm, and Musselburgh 87mm, 151% and 141% of February normal, respectively."

Along with the rainfall, Musselburgh had recorded only 59 hours of bright sunshine so far this month, 39% of its normal 153 hours.

"At this stage of the month, we should be roughly at about 50%."

These statistics were the result of the tropical nature of the weather pattern which had affected most of the country, "even getting all the way down to Dunedin at times", Ms Griffiths said.

An active La Nina pattern had settled over the country bringing warmth and moisture.

As a result, temperatures in the North Island were 2degC-3degC above their February normal and most South Island towns were also warmer than normal.

The warmth was expected to continue but the last two weeks of February were generally considered the hottest weeks of the year, she said.

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