How Many Sunshine Hours Does Hamilton Receive?

EN \  Blog \  How Many Sunshine Hours Does Hamilton Receive?

How Many Sunshine Hours Does Hamilton Receive?

11 October, 2018

Hamilton and its surrounding towns of Cambridge and Te Awamutu are a popular place for families and retirees, with many touting its environment as a primary reason for moving to the Waikato.

Known for the mighty Waikato River, the Chiefs Super Rugby team, and a (perhaps sometimes overstated!) general love of motorsport, Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth biggest city. It’s also one of our sunniest.

2017 was the fifth warmest year on record for New Zealand, and scientists are expecting these warm temperatures to continue. Hamilton is no exception.

So just how many sunshine hours does the Hamil-tron get? And why is this good for solar energy production?

NIWA sunshine hours

In New Zealand there are several agencies or organisations who look at our weather patterns. The primary one is the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA), commonly referred to as NIWA Science, and is a Crown Research Institute, charged with undertaking scientific research in the realm of environmental science. This includes such areas as climate change and climate science, seawater and freshwater ecology, and weather - amongst others!



NIWA also report on New Zealand sunshine hours. You can sign up to use their Solarview tool to understand solar energy at your location.


How many sunshine hours does Hamilton typically receive?

In 2017 Hamilton clocked 2035 sunshine hours! On average, most places around New Zealand receive between around 1,700 and 2,100 hours of sunshine each year. According to NIWA’s 2017 climate report, the frontrunner when it comes to sunshine hours across New Zealand’s six main centres is Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, at 2281 sunshine hours; closely followed by Auckland at 2110; with Hamilton not far off at 2035. Across all of New Zealand, the wider Nelson region topped the charts, with 2,633 sunshine hours in 2017.


Solar energy potential in Hamilton

If you live in Hamilton - or are perhaps thinking about moving or building a new home there - you can use our Solar Evaluator Tool to assess the solar energy potential of your home.

Input your address, the size of your section, dimensions of your roof, and we’ll calculate the potential solar energy your roof could capture.


Calculating sunshine hours for Hamilton

The MetService measure sunshine hours at a range of sites across New Zealand. Most sites use a Campbell Stokes Recorder.

Hamilton sunshine hours are recorded at a station on the edge of Hamilton, in a suburb called Ruakura. If you’re wanting to understand the patterns in Hamilton’s sunshine hours you can take a look at this yearly sun graph for Hamilton.


What are the benefits of greater sunshine hours

  1. Sunlight & Serotonin

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, exposure to sunlight is said to increase the brain’s release of the hormone serotonin; serotonin is associated with mood regulation, and helping a person feel calm and focused. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can drop.

  1. Vitamin D
    According to the Ministry of Health, Vitamin D is important for bone health, and whilst most people get enough from the food they eat, humans can also get a top up from the sun.
  2. Generating solar energy
    The more sunshine hours your region gets, the greater solar energy potential your property may have.


How do sunshine hours differ between summer and winter in the Waikato?

The weather across Hamilton and the greater Waikato region is fairly temperate, with the mean temperature for Hamilton sitting at a comfortable 14.5 degrees Celsius.

Daily maximum temperatures in Hamilton through summer range between 22-26°C and 10-15°C in the colder winter months of July and August. Summer temperatures can occasionally reach up to 28°C, while some winter morning temperatures may drop to as low as −3°C.

As for sunshine hours, scientists are seeing a decrease in cloud cover over the West of the North Island, where Hamilton is situated, and in combination with increasing temperatures, they’re seeing a slight increase in sunshine hours.


Things to do on a sunny day in Hamilton

With a nice climate like Hamilton’s it’s no surprise there’s a great range of outdoor activities to do on a sunny Waikato day.

Grab a bike and go for a cycle on one of the city’s beautiful riverside cycle-ways. Or venture further South along the Hamilton to Cambridge cycle-way, which takes you as far as the Karapiro Lake. A lake famous for its rowing and watersports, as well as its hydro-electric power station.

Of course there’s the Waikato River that runs the stretch of the city, and is home to many rowers, kayakers and river boats. Take a scenic cruise on the famous Waikato River Explorer.


Want to learn more about solar energy in your home?

Try our solar calculator: