June weather: highs all round

Coastal Otago may have flooded, but it was Central Otago which recorded its wettest June since records began.

Cromwell, Lauder and Alexandra last month received about three times their normal June rainfall, breaking records held since 1949, 1924 and 1983 respectively.

On the coast, Oamaru and Dunedin's Musselburgh recorded their second-highest June rainfall since 1898 and 1918, respectively.

''Dunedin recorded nearly three times its normal rainfall, which was the second-highest June rainfall recorded in a group of surrounding stations,'' Niwa principal climate scientist Brett Mullins said.

That rainfall caused widespread flooding on the Taieri and in North Otago and landslips and road closures around the city.

The wet weather was the result of lower pressures than normal across New Zealand while persistent high pressure centred south of Tasmania, he said.

It caused an odd east-southeasterly flow over the South Island which contributed to well-above-normal rainfall totals east of the Southern Alps.

Ranfurly and Alexandra broke their one-day rainfall records with 33mm and 49mm respectively on June 2, while Tara Hills nearly broke its record on the same day, with 65mm, as did Wanaka (62mm) and Queenstown (62mm).

Near record-breaking high wind gusts were recorded at Tara Hills (106kmh), Wanaka (78kmh) and Lauder (115kmh).

Added to the east-southeasterly flow were cold south-southeasterly winds, which came with the storm of June 19-21, causing significant snowfall, especially in Maniototo and Mackenzie Country, Dr Mullins said.

In the following frosts, Ranfurly recorded its third-lowest June temperature of -9.8degC on June 23.

Warm weather at the start of the month also meant mean minimum temperature highs were recorded on June 1 at Gore 17.7degC (highest), Musselburgh 20.1degC (second highest) and Ranfurly 17.1degC (third-highest).

When compared with New Zealand's five other main centres, Dunedin came out the cloudiest with only 78% of its normal June sunshine of 75 hours recorded.

While the city had its second-highest rainfall, it was still less than that recorded in Christchurch (187mm), Wellington (270mm) and Auckland (177mm).

Its near-normal average temperature of 7.4degC was higher than Christchurch's 6.5degC but less than Wellington's 9.9degC and Auckland's 11.5degC.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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