Our summer weather

Today is the first day of autumn. It was a cool summer for most of us. It was also a wet summer for most of the North Island and the upper South Island. The North Island and the east coast of the South Island have also been very cloudy with temperatures a few degrees below normal for this time of year. However, the West Coast and the central and lower South Island had the best weather. Milford Sound, which on average has 6,813 mm of rain in a year, and 182 wet days in a year, had the driest summer in 90 years. The highest summer temperature for the country ā€“ 31.7 degrees – was at Lake Pukaki, near Mt Cook, on January 4th. Last year the highest temperature was 10 degrees more than that, at Timaru. La Nina weather will disappear around Easter. Listen to February 8th 2012 to hear more about this.

Lack of rain in the central South Island means that the water level in the lakes is lower than usual. These lakes supply much of our water for generating electricity. However, the Met Office says there will be plenty of rain soon.

Today the Met Office told us that our autumn weather will be cooler than usual too, with more cloud and more rain. This is because of cool sea temperatures and storms across the Tasman Sea.

Listen to June 9th 2008, November 22nd 2008 and December 10th 2009 to hear more about generating electricity in New Zealand.


lack of (noun) ā€“ not enough; to lack (verb) to want or need e.g. to lack confidence / money / ability / time
generate – make
Met Office ā€“ meteorological office, weather department


Check you know how to spell the comparative (-er) and superlative (-est) forms of these words: cool, cloudy, wet, dry, hot, high, low


Most of our electricity comes from hydro dams. If you live in New Zealand, look at a map to see all the lakes and rivers which are used for generating electricity. If you live in another country, how does your country generate electricity?

What happens in New Zealand if there is not enough water in the lakes to generate electricity?

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