Wairoa Mayor and farmer Craig Little isn't getting too hot and bothered about latest annual weather statistics which paint his district as among the warmest and the town among the wettest in 2020.
According to national climate agency NIWA's summary, Wairoa's maximum temperature of 37.3C on February 2 was its second-highest temperature in the 56 years of comparable records.
But on the damper side of the ledger, the Northern Hawke's Bay town's airport rainfall of 1115mm for the year was the highest in Hawke's Bay cities, or major towns and recording stations.
Variations in extremes were common across the region, including Napier, where the temperature on February 2 hit 37.4C, but rainfall of 242mm on November 9 was the second-heaviest in one day in the city in records dating back to 1870 – and marginally under one-third of Napier's rain for the whole year.
Dannevirke's 32.6C maximum on February 4 was its third-highest in 79 years of comparable records and more in keeping with such extremes its 783mm of rain over the 12 months was its third lowest annual total since the records were first kept in 1951.
While the maximum temperatures were among the hottest temperatures in New Zealand during the year – the hottest was Gisborne's 38.2C on January 31 – Hawke's Bay's rainfall figures were dwarfed by others nationwide.
The peak one-day fall was 509mm at Milford Sound on February 3, just as Hawke's Bay was at its hottest, and the highest annual rainfall was the 11,532mm at the Cropp River waterfall station inland of Hokitika.
Little has records from three generations of family-kept weather figures, and says while it is healthy to have the climate change debate he says there have been extremes in the area before, and there will be more in the future.
He said he could remember days at the town's A and P Show – which is on this week – when it was "so hot we had to go home".
"If that had been in winter then I'd have been a bit worried," he said.
Like anyone who's been around the area more than 35-40 years, he has vivid memories of Cyclone Bola which dropped more than 700mm of rain on some parts of the area in three days in March 1987 and resulted in the collapse of the concrete State Highway 2 bridge over the Wairoa River in the heart of the town.
NIWA says 2020 was New Zealand's seventh-warmest year in just over 110 years of comparable statistics, and that the nationwide average temperature was 13.24C 0.63C above the average for the 30-year period 1981-to-2010.
Six of the last eight years had been among the warmest on record, with a peak average of 13.45C in 2016.
While Hawke's Bay was notable for its drought, with lower-than-average monthly rainfall in seven months to June, the longest dry was in Marlborough, where Blenheim in late February last year completed a 64-day period without any rain.