New Zealand lies in the Temperate Zone and has a generally mild, invigorating climate although with sharp regional contrasts. The rugged terrain of the country has a dramatic effect on the weather. Many parts of the country are subject to high winds and rains followed by sharp drops in temperature. January and February are New Zealand’s warmest months with July normally the coldest. Spells of cool, damp weather occur even in the summer, from December through February. Rainy winter days of June, July, and August are interspersed with days of brilliant sunshine and crisp, clear air. October, November, and December are particularly windy months. Winds of 60 mph are not unusual, especially in the Wellington area, and on rare occasions they exceed 100 mph. As the mountainous terrain suggests, New Zealand lies in an area of active earthquakes and volcanism ringing the Pacific Plate. A major fault line runs through Wellington. Earthquakes are sometimes felt but rarely cause damage.