Auckland leads near-record temperatures in main centres during exceptional month.

The sunny summery days that drew crowds to beaches and the Santa Parade have come during Auckland's second hottest November on record.

Niwa's monthly climate report showed last month was warm for most parts of the country, all six main centres recording above average, well above average, or record average temperatures.

Auckland registered the highest average temperature of 17.8C. The peak temperature recorded in the city - 26.8C on Saturday the 23rd - was Auckland's hottest recorded November day since 1959. That was closely followed by a high of 26C four days later.

The sweltering heat came at a time when many Aucklanders were out enjoying the start of the city's busy summer events schedule. Thousands turned out for the Queen St Santa Parade on Sunday the 24th when the mercury hit 24.7C.


Tauranga, which clocked the most sunshine hours of the main centres, followed Auckland closely with an average temperature of 17.7C.

In the South Island, Christchurch and Dunedin experienced a relatively mild month compared to previous years.

Rainfall in the Garden City was 42 per cent lower than normal, and the city's average temperature of 14C was above the November norm. It was also the cloudiest of the six main centres. Dunedin had its driest November on record, with the lowest rainfall total in nearly 100 years.

At the other end of the scale, Wellington had the most rain of the six main centres, recording 94mm for the month. Hamilton came in second with 74mm.

Weather for the rest of this month was expected to be near normal levels, Niwa said.

Temperatures and rainfall for most of the country were expected to be at average or above average levels in comparison to previous years.

November extremes

*Auckland's average temperature: 17.8C
*Auckland's highest temperature: 26.8C recorded on November 23
*Highest temperature overall: 30.3C, at Clyde on November 19
*Lowest temperature overall: -2.4C, at Hanmer Forest on November 1