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New Zealand had coldest December for 78 years


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Tuesday January 2, 2007

Wellington- Defying talk of global warming, New Zealanders shivered in December, with the capital Wellington recording its coldest start to the southern hemisphere summer for 78 years, according to official figures released Wednesday. The National Climate Centre said that Wellington's average temperature was 12.9 Celsius, 2.4 degrees below normal and the lowest since records began in 1928.

Even Kaitaia, the country's northernmost town, suffered a 2.5- degree drop in the average December temperature to 15.6 Celsius, the lowest since records were first taken there in 1948.

The chill has continued into the new year as most New Zealanders are taking their summer vacations.

Snow fell this week on Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano and the North Island's highest peak at 2,797-metres, and the temperature in Wellington hovered Tuesday around 11 Celsius, about the same as European cities now in the depths of winter.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency