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The climate of the Manawatu-Wanganui region is a reflection of the generally disturbed westerly air flow with interspersed anticyclones, modified in specific places by the local topography.

The Manawatu-Wanganui region has relatively few climatic extremes, except in the higher elevation areas around the Central Plateau. The rainfall is usually adequate for pasture growth, except on occasions in the summer, and temperatures have a relatively small range.

Summers are warm and frosts are frequent in sheltered inland areas during winter. The weather is often cloudy about the hills, but sunshine hours increase toward the west coast where around 2025 hours are recorded each year. Except at higher elevations, snow and hail are rare occurrences, although fog occurs at times in coastal areas.

The prevailing air flow is from the westerly quarter and, except during the passage of the occasional depression, or when a depression of tropical origin passes to the east of the North Island, the day-to-day weather conditions are not severe.

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Read the full report - The climate and weather of Manawatu - 2nd Edition [PDF 2.4 MB]

Suggested citation

Chappell, P.R. 2015. The climate and weather of Manawatu-Wanganui. NIWA Science and Technology Series 66, 40 pp.

NIWA's climatologies

A regional climatology is a summary of the typical weather and climate of a region, based on historical data observations made at climate stations located within the region. 

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Read more about NIWA's regional climatologies

Manawatu-Wanganui's regional climatology - The Climate and Weather of Manawatu-Wanganui.