Story: Climate

Mean annual sunshine hours, 1971–2000

Mean annual sunshine hours, 1971–2000

Apart from the far south and west of the South Island, New Zealand receives at least 1,800 hours of sunshine a year, on average. The geographical pattern of sunshine is caused by the interplay of the prevailing westerly winds and New Zealand’s mountain chains. As humid air approaches from the west, it drops rain on the mountains on the west side. It then descends to the east where it warms and the clouds evaporate, resulting in drier, sunnier weather.

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How to cite this page:

Brett Mullan, Andrew Tait and Craig Thompson, 'Climate - New Zealand’s climate', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 April 2024)

Story by Brett Mullan, Andrew Tait and Craig Thompson, published 12 Jun 2006