December 2016 – Some barbecue weather in the mix

December 1, 2016

Most of New Zealand experienced a very wet November, due to frequent lows on the weather map. It was the wettest November on record for Wellington, and the third wettest November for Dunedin. “Kelburn recorded 239mm of rainfall last month, a new record for November since observations there began in 1928,” said MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths. “Dunedin clocked up its third wettest November, in records since 1918.”

In contrast, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay were drier than normal during November and suffered record-breaking November heat – on November 23rd the mercury hit 33.4C at Napier Airport and 33.3C at Gisborne Airport.

Looking ahead, New Zealand should see an improvement in the weather patterns in the lead up to Christmas. Highs are expected to often hang around the North Island through December, with westerly winds prevailing over the South Island.

Below normal December rainfall is predicted for much of the country. The exceptions are the West Coast of the South Island, and also from Taranaki down to Wellington. In these areas, near normal December rainfall totals are expected. “A drier than usual December is forecast for those living in the north and east of both Islands,” noted Griffiths. “And for most people, December should be much drier than November was.”

Monthly temperatures are predicted to be above average for eastern areas of both islands, and near average elsewhere. “Further hot days (in excess of 25°C) are very likely in the next few weeks for Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Canterbury,” advised Griffiths.

And while some barbecue weather is certainly in the mix this December, not every day will be dry or warm or sunny. “Some of these highs may well be rather cloudy, and we’ll still get rain bands on the weather map during December,” reminded Griffiths. Meaning that keeping up with the MetService forecast when planning that barbecue will still be very important.

2016-12-01b

The latest Rural Outlook can be found at www.metservice.com/rural/monthly-outlook. You can keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice  and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com