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."


The average temperature nationwide last month was 17C making it the sixth warmest March since records began in 1909.

But, the Niwa forecast for the coming three months showed a different picture.

Temperatures in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty the months of April to June were predicted to be above average but rainfall was most likely to be below or near average.

Despite the forecast, cloud with the chance of evening showers was predicted by MetService for today.

The same was true of Wednesday but Thursday and Friday looked set to be fine.