City, lying on the Waikato River in Central Basin Waikato enjoys a hospitable
climate year round with warm, humid summers and cool to mild winters.
The perfect ingredients for world-class dairy farming and intensive horticulture.
Fog is a infamous feature of Hamilton's winter mornings,
however they can occur at any time of year - an airport nightmare. Fog
in Hamilton is most common about the river, the extensive gully system
and rural areas. FACT: Hamilton is the foggiest city in New Zealand. Towns
that are foggier include Taumarunui (King Country/Ruapehu District) and
Reefton (Southeast of Westport, South Island).
Frost during winter is a common sight in the city as
the regional geography is perfect for frost development. The nil-presence
of large-bodied water always mean that Hamilton is colder during the night
than places like Auckland, Tauranga, Raglan and even Rotorua at times
- despite it's elevation. FACT: No other New Zealand city
has recorded a temperature below Hamilton's record of -9.9°C!
Wind predominates in either a west or southwesterly direction.
Hamilton's inland and low location means we are quite sheltered from gale-force
winds found near the coasts and altitudes. Northerlies often bring humid-warm
weather, northeasterlies - scattered rain usually, easterlies - partly
cloudy skies, southeasterlies - variable with either rain, fine-hot-dry,
or thunderstorms, southerlies - dry sunny skies, cool, southwesterlies
- normally cloud, westerlies - fine or cloudy with showers, northwesterlies
normally mean heavy rain and often thunderstorms. FACT: Hamilton is the
NZ city with the lowest wind speed averages.
Thunderstorms in the Waikato are numerous year-round
with counts peaking in the November - December months. The greater-regional
geography means conditions are ideally suited for thunderstorm development.
Incoming moisture sources include the Firth of Thames, Bay of Plenty,
and the Tasman Sea can all combine during times of light winds and the
results can be potent once mixed with cold Antarctic air aloft. Southeast
winds can bring a lot of moisture/evaporation at times from the Central
North Island forests.
FACT: Hamilton is the most thundery city in New Zealand. Towns with more
thunder-days include Milford, Haast, Westport and Greymouth/Hokitika.
As with thunderstorms, tornadoes are also possible if there's enough wind
shear present in the troposphere. FACT: Hamilton is home to the most
severe tornadoes in Australasia!
-Read about the great 1948 tornado here,
with photos here.
-View my 'tornado' damage photos from September '05 here.