The first month of autumn was even wetter and cloudier than usual but the rest of autumn looks set to be just the opposite.
Temperatures in Tauranga were higher than usual for March with the average temperature 1.4C above normal and the average minimum temperature 2.1C hotter.
While warm, the city was pelted with 149 per cent of the usual rainfall during the month and saw only 77 per cent of the usual sunshine.
Niwa's monthly climate summary explained: "The increase prevalence of air flow from the northeast during March caused warm, tropically-derived air masses to travel over New Zealand. Most of the country ... recorded well above average or above average temperatures for the month."