» Economic Profile » Environment » Climate


Central Otago has the most extreme climate on mainland New Zealand. It is characterised by:
  • Hot summers
  • Cold dry winters
  • A predominantly dry westerly wind flow.
  • Low air humidity

Central Otago is the only place in New Zealand that comes close to having a continental climate, with four distinct seasons, as opposed to the temperate climate most of the rest of the country has.

The best source of detailed climate information can be found on the GrowOtago website maintained by the Otago Regional Council. To visit this site please click on the following link: http://growotago.orc.govt.nz  

The following table, with information drawn from GrowOtago, summarises key climate indicators for the four main areas within the District:

Climate Statistics per Area of Central Otago

Growing degree days are calculated by subtracting the base temperature from the average daily temperature. 10 deg C is a useful base temperature for sub-tropical crops, e.g. grapes. 5 deg C is a useful base temperature for pasture and field crops, e.g. peas. If the average temperature is below the base temperature the growing degree day value for that day is zero. Daily growing degree day values are added together for the whole year, providing an indication of the energy available for plant growth.

To view more information about each of the Central Otago seasons click here


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