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Last year was New Zealand's hottest since records began more than 100 years ago. Seven months of 2016 recorded above average temperatures, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa). Niwa has given its annual review via a live stream on its social media pages this morning, confirming last year was the country's hottest since records began in 1909. Globally, it was also the warmest year on record.
There were seven months which experienced above average temperatures last year: February, March, April, May, June, July and October. Four months - January, September, November and December - experienced near-average temperatures and August was the only month where temperatures were below average. Places that experienced their hottest year on record were: Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Whenuapai, Whangaparaoa, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Te Puke, New Plymouth, Hawera, Ohakune, Gisborne, Wairoa, Hastings, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Levin, Paraparaumu, Masterton, Wellington and Ngawi. There were also a few places in the South Island that recorded their warmest temperatures. Blenheim, Waiau, Cheviot, Rangiora, Tara Hills, Wanaka and Roxburgh all made that list. Niwa also noted that there were many other areas which had near-record warm temperatures last year. Niwa forecaster and meteorologist Chris Brandolino this morning said: "In 2016, the mean temperature was 13.4C. That is 0.83C above the long-term average." Warmer than usual ocean temperatures around New Zealand were among the reasons given for the temperature anomalies.
The Niwa Weather Annual Climate Summary 2016 also revealed the sunniest places in the country. Richmond was deemed the sunniest place in the country last year, recording a total of 2840 hours of sunshine. Other places announced as the sunniest spots in New Zealand were Blenheim, Takaka and New Plymouth - the latter recording 2503 hours of sunshine in 2016. Internationally, the US recorded its second warmest year last year. It was also the second warmest year recorded in Singapore. For our neighbours across the Tasman, last year was said to be the fourth hottest year recorded in Australia. International climate agencies have already confirmed last year was the warmest on record, globally. A statement released by Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S) said figures showed last year's global temperature exceeded 14.8C and was about 1.3C higher than typical for the middle years of the 18th century.