Nelson’s Climate and Weather

Although the weather in the Nelson Tasman Region is usually the best in the country here is what is the local forecast for today and tomorrow.

The Nelson Tasman region has an enviable mild and sunny climate that allows locals and visitors to enjoy all year round. We have one of the best climates in New Zealand!

Summer months have long sunny days with sunset around 8.30pm. Plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors. January and February are the warmest months of the year.

Autumn and winter months are typically clear and crisp with little wind (great for sea-kayaking or boating). July is generally the coldest. Snow is rare below 300m elevation but the mountains are generally covered all winter.

Spring is very picturesque with the flowers, blossom, vines and lambs all coming to life.

Nelson and Tasman have very temperate climates with mild winters and warm summers.

We do get plenty of crisp frosts in the winter however that usually makes for a great sunny day. We typically get some rain every month of the year although winter does bring more of it. The usual pattern is rain for 3-4 days and then 7-10 days of sunshine in winter.

Spring and summer is windier than Autumn/Winter. The afternoon sea breeze usually starts about 11am on a summers day.

Nelson has one of the sunniest climates in New Zealand and has earned the nickname “Sunny Nelson”. Our average total of sunshine is over 2400 hours per year.

The highest recorded temperature in Nelson (at the airport) is 36.3 °C (97 °F), the lowest -6.6 °C (20 °F). In summer the average high temperature is 24°C and the low is 12°C. In winter the average high temperaure is 13°C and the low is 2°C.

When you head away from the coast a little to places like Brightwater or Wakefield, the tasman sea has less of an effect on their temperatues. They can easily be 3-4 °C warmer on a hot summers day and a few degrees frostier on those chilly mornings.

The Western Ranges (Kahurangi National Park) create a rain shadow for the Waimea Plains, Richmond and Nelson.

What happens outside these parameters?

You can find a ten (10) day weather forecast for the Nelson Tasman Region here: Metservice Nelson    Be aware that 10 day weather forecasts for Nelson never seem to be that accurate after the first 3-4 days!

Mountains, adventure and backcountry experiences are some of the things that make New Zealand a great place to be but if you’re going into the backcountry you need to be prepared. The weather in New Zealand changes rapidly, especially if you are above bushline and snow can happen any time of year. Make sure you get up to date information about weather and conditions. Always be physically and mentally prepared for the worst conditions and be ready to change your trip plans if necessary.

Don’t foregt the Outdoor Safety Code:
1 – Plan your trip
2 – Tell someone where you are going
3 – Check the weather forecast
4 – Know your limits
5 – Take sufficient supplies

Metvuw provides some great detailed weather forecasts. Especially the wind and precipitation charts. METVUW Website
Links to our local National Parks:
Weather forecast for Nelson Lakes National Park
Weather forecast for Abel Tasman National Park
Weather forecast for Kahurangi National Park
The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council has a great website to check New Zealand avalanche conditions.
The Department of Conservation has a webpage with links to different weather forecasts across the country.

 

Nelson – Marlborough Median Annual Rainfall based on data from the period 1981-2010.

nelson_marlborough_annual_rainfall_map

 

Nelson – Marlborough Median Annual Sunshine based on data from the period 1981-2010.

nelson_marlborough_annual_sunshine

 

Tasman Median Annual Rainfall based on data from the period 1981-2010.

tasman_annual_rainfall

 

Tasman Median Annual Sunshine based on data from the period 1981-2010.

tasman_annual_sunshine

Thank you to NIWA for the maps from the NIWA website