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Source: NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

This year is on track to be one of New Zealand’s top 10 warmest on record, according to NIWA forecasters.

New Zealand’s official temperature record, The Seven Station Series, is currently showing the average temperature to be 0.7ᵒC above average for 2020.

Forecaster Ben Noll says that if that remains the same, then this year would be the 7th warmest on record for New Zealand,

“To rank in the top 5, we’d need an extremely warm month December but while the forecast is looking warm, it might be a bit of a stretch.”

Today the World Meteorological Organisation announced the 2020 is set to be one of the three warmest years on record with the average global temperature in 2020 is set to be 1.2ᵒC above the pre-industrial level (1850-1900).

Mr Noll says a variable January and cooler March this year is what will most likely keep New Zealand out of the top five.

“Another consideration is the very low soil moisture levels experienced earlier this year, with the lack of moisture in the ground making for better radiational cooling conditions at night. Sea surface temperatures were above average in the New Zealand region so far in 2020 (1 Jan-1 Dec) but slightly cooler than what was experienced over the same period in 2019.”

However, Mr Noll says it is noteworthy that should 2020 finish in 7th place, it would mean five out of the top warmest years would have occurred since 2013.

“What’s more is that that is has now been 46 consecutive months since New Zealand’s nationwide average temperature was below average.”

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