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Christchurch summers so different from years ago

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Ōtautahi – Summer is over in all of New Zealand and Christchurch people can’t wait for next summer after the wettest ever February, which traditionally has been the driest and hottest month of the year.

Metservice spokesperson Lewis Ferris says Christchurch received 220mm of rain in the last three months of summer, ending yesterday.

“It was quite a lot higher in rainfall than the average January 1 to end of March of 140mm, largely due to a very wet February.

“A total of 148mm of rain fell in February, which was the wettest February on record, dating back to 1944. But both January and March came in around 80 percent of average.”

All recordings are made at the Christchurch airport.

Ferris says when looking at mean temperature, which takes into account daily high and low, then it’s been bang on average.

“But if we take a look at the average daily maximums then they are notably below historical figures. 20Cdeg v 21.5Cdeg.

“This was mainly due to the washout of February bringing the temperature down. That being said, each of the first three months this year has been below average for the number of days exceeding 25Cdeg.

“Usually, the first three months would bring 19 days, this year just 13 above 25Cdeg. This can be somewhat attributed to a La Niña regime where the prevalence of northeasterly winds is increased which decreases the likelihood of those typical hot northwesterlies.

“Lastly, January set a station January record, the second all-time sunniest month in Christchurch for sunshine, back to 1949.

“So even with February being the fifth ever cloudiest, and March being relatively dim, the city has come out bang on average. January basically saw the same amount of sun as February and March combined.”

The highs and lows of Christchurch weathers epitomise Aotearoa weather moving more to the ends of the spectrum rather than the historical normal drier summers and winters of some years ago.