February was the wettest on record for two spots around the country, while the rest of New Zealand had what's being labelled an "unsettled" month.

The month broke rainfall records in Nelson and Blenheim, which MetService says highlights the huge impact of the two cyclones in the upper South Island over this time.

Nelson airport recorded 234mm, a whopping 370 per cent of the normal February rainfall.

Rain readers at Blenheim Airport recorded 199mm, or four times the normal amount for the area.


Auckland recorded 149mm, more than two times its average February rainfall, and Christchurch's 121mm was nearly three times above normal.

Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin all experienced more than 200 per cent of their average February rainfall too, recording 203mm, 171mm and 135mm respectively.

February rainfall in the main centres. Image / NZ Herald graphic
February rainfall in the main centres. Image / NZ Herald graphic

MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said the amount of rainfall was unusual, but February was often "boom or bust" in terms of wetness.

"The month is often characterised by deluge rainfall – or none at all."

As summer draws to a close, a round-up of February's weather statistics show that frequent lows and persistent northerly winds resulted in an extremely wet month right across the country.

The extremes extended to the temperatures, which were also higher than normal in most spots. These scorching temperatures contributed to what is the hottest summer on record.

Climate scientist Jim Salinger said final figures for the month revealed the average temperature over the country was 0.9C above average.

"This puts the summer 2017/18 [temperature] at 18.8C, 2.2C above average," he said.


Salinger said the main drivers of the unprecedented summer temperatures were climate change, the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the weak La Nina.

"The extremely positive SAM pushed the storm tracks of the roaring forties and furious fifties further south, allowing anticyclones to track across the south Tasman Sea across the South Island and to the east," he said.

Temperatures recorded by MetService averaged at 21.2C for Auckland, close to 1C hotter than the average temperature normally recorded for February.

Tauranga's average temperature of 21C was 1.4C higher than usual and Wellington had a 1.3C boost, to 18.5C. Temperatures in the south were also slightly higher than normal.