Last year's weather was a "rollercoaster of temperature-swinging", MetService says in its annual review.
"With a cooler than usual start and finish to the year for much of the country, the middle months of 2014 were very mild," said MetService meteorologist John Law.
"January was unusually cold in much of New Zealand, leaving many people wondering when summer would arrive. April and June were extremely mild, with Kiwis questioning where winter was."
Temperatures soared to above average in the South Island in May, and many temperature records were broken throughout the country in April and June.
Nationally, it was the warmest June on record.
September temperatures were above average for the North Island, and it was the warmest September on record for Tauranga.
But that all changed in October as frequent southwesterlies and snow chilled the country. The cooler trend stayed around for November, which refused to warm up for most regions.
With frequent hail storms and late frosts it was unusually chilly, Mr Law said.
The cooler temperatures continued into December, but were eventually replaced by warmer northerlies.
"Overall, 2014 ended up looking about average with respect to temperature for many parts of the country," Mr Law said.
"The exception was northeastern parts of both islands, which were warmer than usual, as well as between Wanganui and Wellington, Tauranga, Napier and Nelson, which had their third-warmest year.
"But the year was a roller coaster of temperatures - swinging from unusually cold to extremely warm and back again."
There were also large swings in rainfall, he said, with very dry periods and extremely wet ones.
"This reflected the weather patterns flip-flopping between highs parked over the country, north Tasman lows that resulted in wet conditions for northern New Zealand, and cold, stormy southwesterlies," Mr Law said.
"True to form, rainfall in 2014 yo-yoed between extended dry periods and extreme wet spells. This would rate up there as a very challenging year for the farmers and growers around the country."
Skies likely to remain settled into the weekend
It looks set to remain dry and sunny for most places this week.
Temperatures are already soaring around the country, with Masterton leading the way yesterday, hitting 28C.
And it looks as though the good weather is here to stay, even holding out for the weekend, MetService said.
"There'll be a few showers here and there, and still some cloud to watch out for, but generally settled and dry," meteorologist John Law said.
A weak front was moving up the country today and tomorrow, which might generate some showers across the Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, "some of which "could be fairly sharp", he said
However, "once that clears away towards the north, the high pressure returns and it's a fairly settled week to come with plenty of dry weather about".
Dry days should continue into the weekend, although Fiordland and Southland will see some cloud.
Whangarei: Fine spells, chance of afternoon showers and sea breezes. High of 26C.
Auckland: Fine spells, chance of light afternoon showers. High of 24C.
Hamilton: Drizzle, southwesterlies. High of 25C.
Tauranga: Few afternoon and evening showers, some may be heavy. High of 27C.
Wellington: Morning drizzle followed by cloudy periods, southerly winds. High of 20C.
Christchurch: Morning drizzle, becoming fine. Southerly wind. High of 19C.
Dunedin: Morning cloud, becoming fine. High of 17C.
Highs and lows of 2014
Highest: Milford Sound, 6737mm
Lowest: Alexandra, 305mm
Highest: 33.6C, Alexandra, February 20
Lowest: 6.6C, Alexandra, July 18
Hottest: Whangarei, 16.1C.
Coldest: Queenstown, 9.9C.
Strongest gust: Greymouth, 140km/h, April 17.