New Zealand sits astride the westerly wind drift. The capital is known as ‘windy Wellington’, but in fact average wind speeds there are not much higher than in other coastal cities such as Invercargill and Auckland. Its reputation stems more from the powerful gusts – over 60 km per hour – which blast the city 173 days a year, compared with 30 days a year for Rotorua and 35 for Nelson. Discarded, blown-out umbrellas are not an uncommon sight downtown, especially in spring.
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