Climate Summary for October 2018

A dry month for much of New Zealand

Temperature

 

Mean temperatures for October were near average (-0.50 to +0.50°C) for nearly all locations across New Zealand. A small portion of Auckland observed mean temperatures slightly below average (-0.51 to -1.20°C), while a handful of locations around the country observed above average (+0.51 to +1.20°C) mean temperatures.

Rainfall

Rainfall in October was below normal (50-79% of normal) or well below normal (<50% of normal) across large swaths of New Zealand, particularly in the North Island and the western South Island. Meanwhile, near normal rainfall totals (80-119% of normal) were observed across northern Waikato and Bay of Plenty, as well as Canterbury, Otago, and interior Southland. In addition, areas of above normal (120-149% of normal) to well above normal (>149% of normal) rainfall were observed from northern Canterbury to Otago.

Soil Moisture

As of 1 November 2018, soil moisture levels were generally below normal for the time of year across much of Northland, parts of Auckland, western Waikato, Hawke’s Bay to Wairarapa, and the upper South Island. Meanwhile, above normal soil moisture levels were found from central Canterbury to interior Southland. Soil moisture levels were generally near normal for the time of year across the rest of the country.

Overview

For the month as whole, October mean sea level pressure was higher than normal over and to the southwest of New Zealand, resulting in more southerly winds than normal over the country.

Rainfall in October was below normal (50-79% of normal) or well below normal (<50% of normal) across large swaths of New Zealand, particularly in the North Island and the western South Island. Meanwhile, near normal rainfall totals (80-119% of normal) were observed across northern Waikato and Bay of Plenty, as well as Canterbury, Otago, and interior Southland. In addition, areas of above normal (120-149% of normal) to well above normal (>149% of normal) rainfall were observed from northern Canterbury to Otago.

Mean temperatures for October were near average (-0.50 to +0.50°C) for nearly all locations across New Zealand. A small portion of Auckland observed mean temperatures slightly below average (-0.51 to -1.20°C), while a handful of locations around the country observed above average (0.51 to 1.20°C) mean temperatures.

The nationwide average temperature in October 2018 was 12.4°C (0.3°C warmer than the 1981-2010 October average from NIWA’s seven station temperature series which begins in 1909).

Further highlights

  • The highest temperature was 28.9°C, observed at Waiau on 24 October.
  • The lowest temperature was -7.5°C, observed at Mt Cook Airport on 13 October.
  • The highest 1-day rainfall was 108 mm, recorded at Haast on 10 October.
  • The highest wind gust was 159 km/h, observed at Cape Turnagain on 10 October.
  • Of the six main centres in October 2018, Auckland was the warmest, Christchurch was the coolest, Wellington was the wettest, Tauranga was the sunniest, and Dunedin was the driest and least sunny. 
  • Of the available, regularly reporting sunshine observation sites, the sunniest four regions in 2018 so far (1 January – 31 October) are Wider Nelson (2073 hours), Marlborough (2070 hours), Bay of Plenty (2029 hours) and Hawke’s Bay (2000 hours).
  • Of the available, regularly reporting low elevation rainfall sites, the two wettest locations in 2018 so far (1 January – 31 October) are Milford Sound (5937 mm) and Arthur’s Pass (3731 mm). The two driest locations in 2018 so far are Alexandra (370 mm) and Clyde (400 mm). 

New Zealand climate extremes summary October 2018


Downloads

October 2018 climate summary information [PDF 480KB]

October 2018 climate statistics [PDF 80KB]

Contact

Seth Carrier, Meteorologist, NIWA Auckland
Tel. 09 375 4508

Research subject: Climate