After a wet start, Whanganui's weather was settled in June but MetService is expecting a stormier July.

This follows a warm May which changed when winter hit suddenly with colder temperatures and a lot of rain in Whanganui in the first week of June.

Whanganui Airport got 27mm on June 1 and 29mm on June 5 - more than half of the month's total of 96.8mm, MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said.

Stormy weather swept across the upper North Island, and there was enough snow to open Ruapehu's Happy Valley learner ski area.


On June 1 a plane flying from Palmerston North to Christchurch was turned back shortly after takeoff, after being struck by lightning.

According to Niwa, snow on the Central Plateau closed State Highway 1 between Rangipo and Waiouru the next day.

Later in the month a series of highs settled in around Whanganui. They brought settled weather with clear skies and light winds. Temperatures dropped below freezing at night in many places.

It was much colder in the South Island, Niwa said. The month's lowest temperature of -9.2degC was recorded at Lake Tekapo. In the Central Otago town of Alexandra the temperature didn't top 0.9deg for 72 hours on one day in June.

Overall, the marine heatwaves of summer were over and sea temperatures are within 0.5degC of normal. Air temperatures across New Zealand were average or slightly above average.

Nationwide, there hasn't been a month with a lower than average temperature since January 2017 - a period of 29 months.

By the end of June soil moisture in this region was near normal, except in inland places like Waiouru and Taihape, which had little or no rain in the second half of the month.

July is set to be much stormier, on and off, with more westerlies, Glassey said.


Winds are moving more to the northwest - a more likely direction to bring rain here. July is usually the region's highest rainfall month.

Temperatures will continue to be average, or slightly warmer than average.