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May was hot but also wet in some places

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/06/2016

May was the warmest month on record but in some places it was also the wettest.

The nationwide average temperature in May was 12.9C, which is 2.1C above average and a record on a series dating back to 1909, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research says.

The first five months of the year also equal a warm temperature record set in 1938.

North-westerly wind flows combined with warmer than usual sea surface temperatures to produce the warm weather.

The highest temperature was 27.6C at Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty on May 9.

The warmer-than-normal seas also provided added moisture or fuel to approaching storms.

The highest one-day rainfall was 163.2mm at North Egmont on May 11 and highest wind gust was 174km/h at Cape Turnagain on May 18.

In the second half of May low pressure systems travelling from west to east brought stormy and active weather. Southern and western parts of the South Island as well as Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui and western Wellington received copious amounts of rain.

Palmerston North, Greymouth and Hokitika experienced their wettest May on record.

But the eastern fringes of Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, eastern Wellington and the district of Kaikoura were sheltered from the north westerlies and passing lows and consequently received well below normal rainfall.

Mahia and Napier had their second and fourth driest May on record respectively.

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