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November temperatures smash records

Published: 12:05PM Wednesday December 01, 2010 Source: ONE News

New Zealand has just been through one of its warmest Novembers ever.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) today released figures that show several warm weather records were smashed last month, especially in the South Island, where temperatures were up to 3.5 degrees on the usual average.

Cromwell had the warmest day reaching 32.3 degrees on November 28 - the town's highest November temperature in more than 60 years.

And a 90-year temperature record - 28.1 degrees celsius - was set in Hamilton.

"Taupo, New Plymouth, Wanganui, all that central area of the North Island also broke records..." NIWA climate scientist Georgina Griffiths told ONE News.

"We've had anti-cyclones passing over the country letting in all that good sunshine and light winds," she said, adding that a strong La Nina in the tropical Pacific should persist through the summer.

But with that warm period has come low rainfall and much of the country is now very dry. Some places have had no rain at all in the past four weeks.

Wanaka only had three millimetres of rain in the whole month.

In Manapouri, only two millimetres fell, Wanganui and Dargaville got 10 millimetres, Taupo and Hamilton both got 16 millimetres - all well below average.

That's frustrating farmers across the country with predictions summer soil moisture levels and river flows are very likely to be below normal in the west and south of the South Island, and near normal or below normal in all other regions, according to the seasonal outlook.

Decent rain isn't expected through eastern parts of the North Island until January.

However the MetService this evening put out a warning of thunderstorms in the central North Island, that could bring rain.

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