Tropical; moderated by trade winds April to November
The average temperature is about 28 degrees C annually. Rainfall is irregular but heavy. There are downpours of up to 80 mm in a single day which are possible anytime. Tokelau is at the north edge of the main hurricane belt, but tropical storms sometimes sweep through between November and March. Since 1846, Tokelau had only experienced three recorded hurricanes. Then in February 1990, waves from Hurricane Ofa broke across the atolls, washing topsoil away and contaminating the freshwater lens. Residual salt prevented new plat growth for months. Hurricane Val in 1992 and Hurricane Percy in 2005 did additional damage.
Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925.
Tokelau's small size three villages, isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people rely heavily on aid from New Zealand -- about $4 million annually -- to maintain public services, annual aid being substantially greater than GDP. The principal sources of revenue come from sales of copra, domain names, postage stamps, souvenir coins, and handicrafts.
Tokelau was on the east side of the International Date Line until it joined with Samoa and skipped December 30, 2011 and jumped at midnight from UTC -11 to UTC +14 and Dec. 29 to Dec. 31st.