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Winter at last? July 2008 - Wet and Dull


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  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL



    Average temperature of 8.3C, which is 0.6C above average.

    In Wellington the average temperature was 9.2C, which is 0.4C above average. We had 252mm of rain, which is 184% of normal!

    Notably, sunshine hours were way down, with a feeble 94 hours of bright sunshine, which is only 80% of normal.

    This reverses the trend since last October where every month has been sunnier than normal. So far, August has began sunny and warm, hopefully it will continue!

    This trend covers the whole country, with everyone being slightly warmer than normal, a lot wetter, and a fair bit duller. Christchurch and Dunedin both had double their normal rainfall.

    Wet Weather

    Caused by the last two weeks, where a bomb low developed, eventually seeing a central pressure of about 960hPa, dumping heaps of rain, and followed rapidly by another, which was slower moving and brought even more rain.

    Many places had record July rainfall. Paeroa saw 275% of normal July rain, with 416mm recorded.

    Paeroa also broke their record with 166mm in one day.

    Drought to Drowned!

    This exasperates a significant 6-month turnaround in conditions. OK, so it's winter, but to go from prolonged drought to big flooding is notable. For example, Paeroa in January saw only 8mm of rain.

    Pukekohe goes from 13mm to 248mm.


    Mt Cook village had a pathetic 41 sunshine hours, their worst July ever. Even Kaitaia, which is at about 35S had only 85 hours, which is 57% of their norm and the second dullest July in history.

    Warm and Cold

    Highest temperature was 22C at Kaikoura, which was recorded at 1AM local time. No, that's not a mistake, it was due to an extreme Foehn wind. Dewpoints were -9C at that time. So very dry indeed.

    They are not mentioning anything lower than -9.1C so I presume that was the coldest for the month. Notable in that it was in the North Island, but for the country as a whole, unexceptional.

    Frost recorded in Auckland two days in a row, this is noted as being very unusual.


    Many places had record gusts. Highest for the month was 108mph at Cape Reinga - fourth strongest gust since 1974.


    18cm of snow in one dumping at Queenstown early in the month. Extensive snowfalls throughout the South Island around that time, especially inland Canterbury. "Once in Four Years" event of snow on the Kaimai ranges southeast of Auckland.

    Many roads and main state highways closed by ice and snow on both islands.

    Later in the month, with heavy rain for the country, highland regions saw a lot of snow. Porters Pass had 40cm, and 20cm at inland Canterbury towns.


    25,000 strikes in 42 hours during one period, a plane was hit and had a hole punctured in its skin.

    1,100 strikes in 1 hour on the West Coast early in the month.

    Comparison with UK January 2008:

    Max Temperature

    UK: 15C

    NZ: 22C

    Min Temperature

    UK: -11C

    NZ: -9C (?)

    Mean Temperature

    UK: 5.3C (2.3C above average)

    NZ: 8.3C (0.6C above average)

    Wind Gust

    UK: 83mph (?)

    NZ: 108mph

    Avereage sunshine hours:

    UK: 40 hours (MO cited UK mean)

    NZ: 97 hours (average of 5 main cities)

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