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Source: New Zealand Official Yearbook 2000. Please note, this information may now be out of date.

The climate of New Zealand is largely influenced by:

  • Its location in a latitude zone where the prevailing wind flow is westerly.
  • Its oceanic environment.
  • Its mountains, especially the main mountain chain which modifies the weather systems.

The day-to-day weather is mostly determined by a series of anticyclones and troughs of low pressure in the westerlies. Consequently New Zealand weather is changeable, typically with short periods of a few days of settled or unsettled weather. There is a marked contrast between the climates of regions west and east of the mountains. New Zealand largely has a 'marine' climate - except in Central Otago which most nearly approaches a 'continental' climate (dry with hot summers and cold winters).

Weather in 1999

The year 1999 was notable for extreme variations and for being the second warmest year since records began in the mid-1850s.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) climate summary 1999:

Metervice -

Quick Facts - Land and Environment

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