2013 third warmest year on record

Average temperatures for 2013 were the third warmest on record, according to NIWA's annual climate summary.

The national average was 13.4 degrees, 0.8 degrees above the 1971-2000 annual average.

Above average annual mean temperatures (0.5-1.2C above annual average) were recorded in parts of every region.

Anomalies were especially high about parts of southern Northland, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Banks Peninsula and western Southland, where annual mean temperatures were at least 1 degree above annual average.

Seventeen locations recorded their warmest year on record, from as far north as Tauranga and as far south as Gore.

Near average annual mean temperatures (within 0.5C of annual average) were recorded in isolated areas including parts of the Far North, Coromandel, western Waikato, Gisborne, Central Plateau, eastern Wairarapa, inland parts of the upper South Island, coastal mid-Canterbury and South Otago.

Annual rainfall totals for 2013 were below normal (less than 80 percent of annual normal) for parts of Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and isolated areas of the West Coast.

It was the driest year on record for Dargaville, Toenepi (near Morrinsville), Taupo and Turangi, with these locations each recording between 67 percent and 72 percent of normal annual rainfall.

Above normal rainfall was recorded in parts of the eastern South Island including Marlborough, North Canterbury and North Otago.

Ranfurly, Alexandra and Lumsden each observed near-record high annual rainfall totals.

Annual rainfall totals were typically near normal (within 20 percent of annual normal) for the remainder of the country.

2013 was a sunny year for many areas, including southern Northland, Bay of Plenty, northern Taranaki, southeastern North Island, North Canterbury, the Canterbury High Country and the West Coast, where annual sunshine hours were at least above normal (more than 110 percent of normal).

It was the sunniest year on record for Turangi and Cheviot. Near normal sunshine was typically observed elsewhere.

The year 2013 will be remembered for widespread drought conditions throughout many parts of the North Island early in the year.


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