New Zealand has reached 41 consecutive months where scientists haven’t recorded below-average nationwide temperatures, something that a meteorologist says is a “clear” sign of the country’s warming climate.
Since January 2017, research institute NIWA hasn’t recorded a single month where temperatures hadn’t slipped more than 0.5 C below the 1981 to 2010 average across Auckland, Wellington, Masterton, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln and Dunedin.
Of those 41 months, 20 had seen above average temperatures. Last month was also New Zealand’s fifth warmest June on record.
“That is clear evidence of New Zealand’s warming climate,” NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said.
“Our baseline for warmth is changing.
“Having 41 consecutive months without a single chilly interlude, considering the nation as a whole, is striking.”
So far, 2020 also produced a number of other records.
Auckland had its second driest January to June on record, with just 310mm of rain recorded. By mid-February, the city recorded 40 days without rain.
The city’s lack of rain has caused Watercare to urge residents to conserve water as volumes in storage dams dropped.
High pressure was present in the North Island throughout the year, bringing in the drier weather and keeping rain bands in the South Island.
Auckland recorded 78 days of drought or severe drought, while the Coromandel Peninsula recorded 95 days.
In Gisborne, scientists had recorded the city’s hottest temperature on record on January 31 at 38.2 C.