Hokitika will see out one of its wettest years in 150 years of records, with the equivalent of two months of additional rain.

With a rainfall total to date of 3262mm - and more to come with a heavy rainfall warning for today - it is on track to be the wettest in 18 years and among the top 10 per cent of rainfall extremes since official weather keeping began at Hokitika in 1866.

Weather observer Mark Crompton said that by the time the year was over the annual rainfall average was likely to be pushed up by 500mm.

"That's a lot of rain. We get on average 250mm a month so that's two months of extra rain in effect," Mr Crompton said.


More rain fell than normal for five months of the year. In May, it doubled with a total of 579mm compared to the average of 271mm.

"When you get a month like that it's pretty hard to come back from," he said.

"It's not going to be our wettest year by any means but it will certainly be in the top 10 per cent."

A search of the record show it is the wettest since 1998, which was soaked with 3598mm.

As well as being a soggy year, the sun has also shone less often.

"Sunshine hours are down 133 hours for the year. While that doesn't sound much, if you take a sunny day as an average of 10 hours then that's 13 days - really two weeks of sun that we've been robbed of."

However, despite the wet year and the rain today, the West Coast is tipped as the "place to be" this Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The rain will clear to isolated showers on Christmas Eve.


"Christmas Day will be fine and sunny, perfect for a barbecue or picnic. On Boxing Day there could be some cloud about but it should be another good day. Both days are looking good on the West Coast - it's the place to be."