Climate and Geography
The phrase ‘four seasons in one day’ may have been created for New Zealand.
Our long narrow geography, with substantial mountain ranges, surrounded by oceans half-way between the South Pole and the equator means we can get almost every kind of weather – and often do!
In general though our climate is temperate, with summer daytime temperatures ranging from 14 - 30 degrees Celsius, and winter from 4 to 20. Overnight temperatures can drop much lower
The predominant wind is a south–westerly. In winter, weather systems from the Antarctic tend to dominate, and south–westerly and southerly storms are common, causing concern for farmers and delight for the snow-skiing industry.
In summer large anti–cyclones or ‘Highs’ push down from the equator, and some areas do experience drought – but usually not in successive years.
Spring and Autumn are times of change that can be expressed differently in different regions. The warm northern regions often also get a lot of rain, but because of this the countryside stays green most of the time.
In the south the larger land mass and the Southern Alps create more of a continental climate, with four quite distinct seasons.
Because New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are the reverse of the United States, England, Europe and Northern Asia. December through to March are our late spring and summer. Temperatures here are measured in Celsius, not Fahrenheit.
There is an excellent overview of New Zealand weather at NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
Find out more about what the weather is like right now at www.metservice.com