Rotorua shuts door on a cold and wet 2012

By Cherie Taylor,

Rotorua was a little colder and a little wetter last year.

Latest statistics provided by the Springfield Weather Observatory show 2012 was slightly cooler than previous years and slightly wetter as well.

Average temperature for the year was 12.7C, just .2C lower than normal.

Rainfall was 1543mm for the entire year, higher than the 1513mm average recorded in Rotorua most years.

Weatherman Brian Holden said there were two notable features last year - November was the driest on record, and a tornado whipped through Ngongotaha and Hamurana on December 6 leaving a path of destruction in its wake.



In November, only 14mm of rainfall was recorded in Rotorua.

In July, 225mm was recorded in the district.

"It's been a pretty normal year really with rainfall and temperatures. There was nothing really of note apart from the tropical cyclone that added a bit of excitement," he said.

But July had a rather wet month last year compared with previous years, Mr Holden said.

Rotorua had 46 frosts in 2012 which was "a few more than normal".

He said lots of people were begging for rain in December, with farmers concerned they might be heading into a drought.

But rainfall for the month was about average with 118mm recorded.

"We had an even spread of rain but it dried away quickly," he said.

While Rotorua is normally one of the least windy cities in New Zealand, 74km/h winds or 40 knot winds were recorded on October 13.

"Seldom does it reach 40 knots."

Mr Holden said the temperature and rainfall norms were last revised in 2006, indicating there was a slight overall increase in recent years.

"Whether or not those figures suggest global warming is debatable as the period represents only a small proportion of the time scale, but they do support the trend."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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