Weather leaves regions baking, Stuff.co.nz MICHAEL DALY
The big dry is hitting parts of the country hard, with some areas receiving less than 5 per cent of their normal January rainfall to date.
NIWA statistics show just how serious the situation is in some areas. In the far north, Kaitaia has had 4 millimetres out of a normal 89mm for the month, Auckland 6mm compared 61mm, Tauranga 4mm compared to 78mm, and Hamilton 11mm instead of 82mm.
In contrast Christchurch, which has had many long, scorching hot days, has received near-normal January rainfall of 37mm, Dunedin is not much below normal with 67mm, and recently balmy Wellington is nearly 20 per cent above normal with 88mm.
At Mt Cook a whopping 1018mm fell in January, compared to 423mm normally.
However, despite the near-normal rainfall, Christchurch and Dunedin appear on course to record quite a bit more sunshine than usual for January.
At the end of Sunday, with four fine days of the month to go, Christchurch was already above the normal 238 hours of sunshine for the whole of January, with 249 hours.