It’s offical, Richmond is New Zealand’s sunniest town.
Richmond has taken the crown for the most sunshine hours in 2019, coming in with a recorded total of 2859.
According to a climate summary issued by NIWA, 2019 was the 4th warmest year on record in New Zealand, with the nationwide average temperature for 2019 at 13.37°C, 0.76°C above average.
2016 remains New Zealand’s hottest year on record, with 1998 and 2018 tied for second equal.
Richmond experienced the most sunshine hours with 2859, followed by Blenheim with 2799 hours, and Napier with 2709.
Tasman mayor Tim King says that it’s a nice accolade.
“It’s not something those of us who live here don’t already know.”
While some Blenheim residents might be a bit upset after narrowly losing, Tim says it’s all a bit of fun.
“It’s a good bit of inter-regional banter.” Tim says.
“It’s not the sort of thing you take too seriously, but it is nice to win.
“It’s great for visitors, and a lot of people move here for the sunshine.”
2019 began with New Zealand’s 3rd-warmest January on record, and the heat was felt in the Tasman region. On January 27 temperatures in Richmond reached 33.8°c, the second-highest recorded temperature in the region since records began in 1862.
Dry conditions in the region fuelled the large scrub fire in Pigeon Valley that began on February 5.
The fire doubled in size overnight and a State of Emergency continued until February 27.
At the end of February, several dry spells came to an end.
The Nelson/Tasman region suffered a 40-day long dry spell, the 4th-longest on record, (with records extending back to 1862), while Hamilton and Tauranga had 36 consecutive dry days.