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South Island sees record-breaking levels of sun

Friday 1 Feb 2013 1:59 p.m.

It was the second sunniest month ever in Christchurch (file)

It was the second sunniest month ever in Christchurch (file)

The weather has been relentless in parts of the country this summer, with several regions receiving record-breaking levels of sunlight.

With 289 hours of bright sunshine, Christchurch recorded its sunniest January in nearly 60 years and the second sunniest month on record.

It was also the sunniest January ever recorded for Cheviot, Ashburton and Tekapo, and it was one of the sunniest months ever for Dunedin, Balcthua and Cromwell.

Climate Scientist Georgina Griffiths, of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), says a large high sitting over the area brought about the long summer days.

“A lot of records were broken in the eastern South Island,” she says, ”a combination of four highs just to the east and nor’westerlies over the South Island meant it was a very sunny month for all of the country.”

The rest of country saw a “rather sunny” month, she says.

Auckland and Wellington were the exception, with both cities seeing fairly normal hours of sunlight.

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