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The main characteristic of the Marlborough climate is its dryness.

Summer droughts are frequent, and the region is often swept by warm, dry northwesterlies. The climate is rather continental in type, with hot, dry summers and cold winters. However, in coastal areas, this effect is significantly moderated.

Snow lies throughout the winter on the mountain tops, but is very rare in the main cropping areas near the east coast. Hail is not common, with eastern coastal areas being more susceptible.

The predominant windflow over much of the region is from the northwest, while southwesterlies and northeasterlies predominate in the east.

The most severe rain and wind conditions occur when the region is affected by intense depressions of tropical origin, but these occurrences are relatively rare.

A feature of the climate especially in the northeast of the region is the large amount of sunshine, Blenheim being one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand.

Read the report

Read the full report - The climate and weather of Marlborough - 2nd edition [PDF 4.2 MB]

Suggested citation

Chappell, P.R. 2016. The climate and weather of Marlborough. NIWA Science and Technology Series 69, 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. 

View all available regional climatologies 

Read more about NIWA's regional climatologies

Marlborough's regional climatology - the climate and weather of Marlborough [NIWA]