2017 was New Zealand’s 5th warmest year on record. The nationwide average temperature for 2017 was 13.2°C, which was 0.5°C above average.
Yearly rainfall in 2017 was above normal (120-149% of the annual normal) for parts of Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, coastal Canterbury, and north coastal Otago. In contrast, rainfall was below normal (50-79% of the annual normal) in much of Southland and interior Otago. Rainfall was near normal (80 to 119% of the annual normal) for the remainder of New Zealand.
Annual sunshine was mainly near normal (90-109% of the annual normal) or above normal (110-124% of the annual normal) throughout New Zealand. The wider Nelson region experienced New Zealand’s highest annual sunshine total during 2017 (2633 hours)..
Central North Island/Waikato
Waikato is sheltered by high country to the south and east and so has less wind than many other parts of New Zealand. Southwesterly winds prevail.
Being largely inland, a wide range of temperatures is experienced. In summer, the region enjoys warm, dry and settled weather. Typical summer daytime temperatures range from 21-26°C and rarely exceed 30°C. In winter, typical daytime temperatures range from 10-14°C with frosts occurring in clear, calm conditions. Sunshine hours average 2,000 to 2,100 in most places.
Average seasonal temperatures for the Waikato:
Source: fourcorners.co.nz 2014
New Zealand is situated in the latitudes of prevailing westerlies and exposed coastal locations often experience strong winds, with generally lighter winds elsewhere. Rainfall is evenly distributed across the year, although late-summer and early-autumn is typically the driest time of the year, whereas the wettest months are typically observed in winter. Parts of the Southern Alps receive more than 10,000 mm of annual rainfall. Central Otago is the driest region of the country, and is sheltered from rain-bearing systems arriving from the west and north. Here, annual rainfall totals of approximately 350 mm are recorded.
Dry spells of more than two weeks are quite common, particularly in eastern and inland locations. Temperatures are relatively mild throughout New Zealand, with the moderating influence of the surrounding sea resulting in a relative lack of extreme high and extreme low temperatures. Temperatures exceeding 30°C aren’t especially common for most locations around the country, although they do occur reasonably frequently during summer at low elevation inland areas and in eastern parts of the country. Frosts are common in the cooler months for most of the country, however they occur rarely north of Waikato. Nelson and Marlborough are typically New Zealand’s sunniest regions, while parts of the Bay of Plenty receive similarly high sunshine hours. For weather forecasts see the Accuweather, Metservice or NIWA websites.