New Zealand Climate

Coldest August since 1992

The average New Zealand temperature was 7.9 °C, the lowest August average temperature for more than 10 years. Much of the country was more than 0.5 °C cooler than average, and temperatures in parts of coastal Wairarapa and the South Island were more than 1.5 °C below average.

The low temperatures were associated with wet conditions in some areas. About 200% of normal rainfall fell in parts of Wairarapa, Canterbury, Otago, and coastal Southland. In contrast, rainfall was less than 50% of normal in inland Bay of Plenty and in parts of Northland.


Percentage of average rainfall for August 2004 (recording sites shown with dots). Click to enlarge.

Difference from average air temperature in degrees Celsius for August 2004. Click to enlarge.

Difference from normal surface water temperatures in the seas around New Zealand. SSTs were mostly below average in August.