In brief: Warmest winter on record

If you thought winter wasn't quite so chilly this year, you'd be right. New Zealand experienced its warmest winter on record. Winter 2013 was 0.3°C warmer than the previous record holder, winter 1984.

Principal Scientist, Climate, Dr Brett Mullan said that nationally the average temperature was 9.5°C, which was 1.2°C warmer than the winter average, tracked across NIWA's seven station temperature measurement method, which has been measuring temperatures since 1909.

"Temperatures were particularly high in parts of the South Island, like Otago, inland and coastal areas of Canterbury and Gore. Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin all saw temperatures above average," said Dr Mullan.

"In June and August, we saw a northerly from the tropics bringing warmer air, and we experienced anticyclonic weather in July. It's  very unusual to see three consecutive months of record-breaking weather."

A warm winter. Lyall Bay, Wellington. [Dave Allen]