Little rain in sunny start to spring

Early spring westerlies meant Hawke's Bay and eastern regions in general had a dry and sunny September.

"Extremely sunny for eastern parts," was the summary for the opening month of spring from the National Climate Centre.

In some areas sunshine hours were up about 125 per cent over normal September figures.

The westerlies arrived early and stuck around for the first half of the month, although there was a late-winter touch on September 12 when snow fell across the Napier-Taupo highway.

Climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said that from the middle of the month a pattern change meant more anticyclones than usual over New Zealand and to the east of the country.

"This combination of patterns resulted in more northwest winds than normal over New Zealand for the month of September."

That resulted in dry conditions on the east and damp conditions on the west. The lack of rainfall saw soil moisture levels drop slightly across the Bay and coastal Wairarapa.

Mahia was the driest spot, with only 19mm of rain for the month - the third lowest since records began in 1990.

Waipawa was the sunniest spot - posting 210 sunshine hours - the fourth highest since 1945.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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