It's official: October was frigid

Chilly weather kept temperatures down to record low levels across Otago last month, with Dunedin experiencing its coldest October since records began about 60 years ago.

Nationally, it was the coldest October in 64 years, with an average temperature of 10.6degC (1.4degC) below the long-term average) and record low temperatures recorded in many areas, including Otago, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) climate summary says.

Temperatures were more than 2degC below average throughout South Island eastern and alpine areas, climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said.

Queenstown recorded its lowest mean minimum temperature for October since records began in 1873, with a mean temperature of 2.8degC, 1.6degC below normal.

Dunedin also recorded its lowest mean minimum for the month since records began in 1947, shivering in 4.1degC (0.8degC below normal).

The city was the coldest of New Zealand's six main centres, with a record mean temperature of 9degC (1.5degC below normal).

It was also a dry month, with Dunedin the only main centre to experience below-normal rainfall of 40mm - only 60% of normal. The rest recorded about 170% of normal rainfalls.

In the extreme low mean maximum daily temperatures Dunedin at Musselburgh recorded its lowest at 12.8degC (2degC below normal) and the airport its fourth lowest of 14degC (2degC below). Oamaru recorded its second lowest at 13.4degC (2.6degC below) and Balclutha its lowest since records began 45 years ago with 13degC (2.5degC below).

The lowest October temperature of -5.5degC was recorded at Ranfurly on the 5th but it was not a record for the town.

Records were broken for extreme low daily minimum temperatures at Dunedin airport (-3.3degC on the 7th), the lowest since records began in 1947 and Queenstown (-3.5degC on the 5th), the lowest since 1871.


• Dunedin the coldest of New Zealand's six main centres.
• Lowest mean maximum daily temperatures recorded at Dunedin 12.8degC, 2degC below normal.
• Queenstown recorded its lowest mean minimum temperature for at least 130 years.


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