Mercury plunges to record lows
By Michael Dickison 4:00 AM Wednesday Jul 14, 2010

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said the past few days had seen some of the lowest temperatures on record.

Air temperatures in Taumarunui, in the central North Island, dipped to -6.8C this week, the coldest since records began in 1947.

Te Kuiti and Turangi had their coldest July nights on record, and in the South Island, Blenheim experienced its second-coldest July temperature yesterday morning.

Queenstown, at -7.2C, had its third coldest night in 139 years of records.

Even Auckland and Wellington got close to air frosts, reaching minimum temperatures of 2.4C and 1.5C this week. Hamilton recorded -3.3C and Christchurch -5.4C.

Niwa climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said a deep low to the north had dragged exceptionally cold Antarctic air over the country that lingered for weeks.

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