NEW Zealand basked in its warmest winter on record, with South Islanders in particular being warmed well above the norm.
Despite a cold snap from June 19-21 which brought snow to much of the South Island and winds which wreaked havoc in Wellington, the rest of the winter was a warm one, the national climate research body Niwa says.
Nationally the mean temperature was 9.5C, 1.2C above the winter average, based on Niwa’s seven station temperature series measurement method, which began in 1909.
This was 0.3 degrees warmer than the previous warmest winter of 1984, making it the warmest on record by a considerable margin.
Temperatures were particularly high in Southland, Otago, inland Canterbury, coastal Canterbury north of Ashburton, and isolated parts of the lower half of the North Island.
Several places in the South Island had mean temperatures more than 1.5C higher than average, with Gore a whopping 2.2C above average.
In the main centres, temperatures were well above average in Christchurch and Dunedin, above average in Wellington and Tauranga, and about average in Auckland and Hamilton.