June temperatures ‘well above average’ in North Island; more rain for many western, inland areas

Temperatures were at least 1.2C above average across most of the North Island during June, while there was more rain in many western and inland areas of the country.

“It was especially wet in inland parts of Otago and Canterbury, and Tauranga, where rainfall totals were about double the June average, Niwa said in its Monthly Climate Summary for June, published on Tuesday.

With more airflow than usual from the northwest, rainfall was less than 79% of normal, or even less than half of normal, for eastern parts of both the North and South Island, Niwa said.

The airflows from the northwest, along with warmer than usual sea surface temperatures were likely the cause of relative warmth throughout the country.

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Overall, the nationwide average temperature in June was 9.9C, which was 1.3C above the 1981-2010 June average. That made last month New Zealand’s 8th-warmest June since Niwa’s seven station temperature series began in 1909.

Flooding on SH1 near Marton during June.


Flooding on SH1 near Marton during June.

Mokohinau, Motu and Castlepoint had their warmest mean June temperatures on record. Whangaparāoa, Whitianga and Porirua were among places with their second-warmest June mean temperatures.

Castlepoint was particularly unusual, with the mean temperature of 13.9C being 3.2C above its 1981-2010 average, Niwa said

Whangaparāoa and Castlepoint had record mean daily maximum June temperatures, while Oamaru had the second-highest on record.

While many places also had unusually warm nights, Balclutha had its coldest mean minimum June temperature since records started there in 1964, at 0.1C – down 1.7C from normal.

Parts of a tree crashed through a roof in this industrial building in Waikanae during stormy weather in June.


Parts of a tree crashed through a roof in this industrial building in Waikanae during stormy weather in June.

Despite the warmth, no weather station had a record June high last month, although Kerikeri had an equal-highest reading with 21.3C.

Dunedin Airport recorded its coldest June temperature with -8.6C.

Ōkārito, Tara Hills and Queenstown had their wettest Junes on record, while Paraparaumu and Greymouth were among places with their second-wettest Junes.

It was a particularly wet month for inland parts of the South Island, particularly notable in Queenstown where records dated back to 1871, Niwa said. Queenstown had nearly 2-½ times its normal rainfall.

There was a prolonged period of calm, clear weather over much of the South Island during the second half of June. That brought low overnight temperatures, and in some locations the temperature struggled to rise above freezing during the day, Niwa said.


Dramatic footage showing some of the bad weather that pummeled Wellington and the Kāpiti Coast in June.

The low daytime temperatures resulted from a combination of features, including an inversion that trapped cooler air near the ground, snow on the ground reflecting energy from the Sun when skies were clear, and periods of low cloud and/or fog that stopped the Sun’s warmth getting through.

Heavy snow also fell during the second week of June in some mountainous areas of the South Island.

The lowest temperature during the month was -11.2C at Middlemarch on June 23, Niwa said.

June was also “particularly stormy” for parts of the country, with more than 23,000 lightning strikes recorded overland or just offshore during the month.

Several severe thunderstorms struck the Wellington Region, leading to hail and a series of powerful wind events, including reports of tornados and possible tornados.

At the end of June soils were significantly drier than normal in eastern areas between Balclutha and Banks Peninsula, Niwa said.

Soil moisture was normal for most of the rest of the country, but soils were wetter than normal for the time of year in inland parts of the South Island, particularly inland Canterbury.

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