Author Topic: NZ SUMMARY OF THE WEATHER FOR 1936.  (Read 690 times)

Offline mark

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NZ SUMMARY OF THE WEATHER FOR 1936.
« on: May 17, 2019, 08:11:09 PM »
SUMMARY OF THE WEATHER FOR 1936.
January.—In the North Island the weather was very wet, with more than the average cloudiness. In the far north north-easterly gales and some flooding occurred. In the South Island conditions were reversed, the rainfall being much below average, especially in Canterbury and on the West Coast. Temperatures were slightly above normal.

February was the wettest February recorded in New Zealand and, indeed, one of the wettest months on record. Most of Westland, the Mackenzie country, the interior of Otago, and Southland had less than the average rainfall, but elsewhere from two to four times the average was recorded. Flooding occurred at times over practically the whole of the North Island. From the 1st to 2nd it was of record proportions in parts of the Auckland Province. In south Marlborough, Canterbury, and north-eastern Otago also there were severe floods. In Canterbury the floods of the 19th to 21st were the most severe since 1923, and the Ashley River rose to unprecedented heights. There was a great flush of growth of grass, and the milk yields became high. Conditions were, however, unfavourable for fattening lambs or for haymaking. Most crops were adversely affected. Some damage was done to the wheat crop, which would otherwise have been excellent. In many cases the grain sprouted, both standing and in the stook. Temperatures were generally somewhat below normal. From the 1st to the 2nd the North Island was visited by a cyclone of tropical origin, which was the most severe in its history. Very severe damage was done by the wind, which in places reached whole gale force. The Manawatu district, and particularly Palmerston North, suffered the worst. Not only was the precipitation extraordinarily heavy, but for a rain so widespread the rate of fall was still more remarkable. The resultant flooding was responsible for serious losses of stock as well as much other damage. Abnormal tidal effects were produced.

March was a very cold month. Though not nearly so heavy as in February, the rainfall was above average in most districts. The pasture was abundant, but was rank and soft. The growth of other vegetation was generally checked and conditions were unfavorable for flowering and fruiting processes. The northern half of the North Island was again affected by a severe cyclone of tropical origin between the 25th and 27th.

Severe gales and remarkably high tides were experienced from Auckland northwards, causing much damage, but the amount of rainfall was surprisingly small.

April.—For the first eighteen days the weather was warm and, except in western and southern portions of the South Island, there was very little rain. In consequence, stock and vegetation thrived. Pastures hardened considerably in most districts and, for the first time during the year, lambs began to fatten well. Cold, wet, and stormy weather after the 18th, however, caused a setback.

May.—On the 2nd a south-westerly storm occurred which for extent and severity was one of the most notable in the history of the country. There followed a spoil of fine weather unprecedented for the time of year. The winds, though light, were mainly southerly, and mean temperatures consequently very low. Frosts and morning fogs were numerous and some snow fell on the ranges, but conditions were not really severe. The month was, on the whole, a good one for stock and pastures.

June was very dry in most districts. Some sharp frosts occurred in the North Island during the first week, but owing to winds being very light, with an absence of severe southerlies, the month was generally a very mild one. Though checked in much of the North Island, there was unusual growth of pasture elsewhere, and, for the time of year, the quality was good. Stock were in good condition.

July.—Rainfall was above average in most districts, but the reverse was the case in the Far North, in parts of Taranaki and Hawke's Bay, and on the west coast of the South Island. Temperatures were rather low and, in the North Island, unusually numerous and sharp frosts were experienced. There were several intervals of very stormy weather, with numerous hailstorms and snow down to low levels. On the 6th, following the passage of a cyclone across the South Island, pressure in the extreme south fell to 28.3 in., the lowest value recorded at sea-level in New Zealand.

August.—A storm which commenced at the end of the preceding month was still raging at the beginning of August. A strong, cold southerly wind was blowing on the 1st and snowstorms were widespread. Around Wellington the snow was unusually thick and extended to low levels. It was some days before it finally disappeared. Several days of cold weather with sharp frosts followed the snowstorm. Another severe storm occurred towards the end of the month, causing heavy, general rains, followed by southerly gales and much snow and hail. Most of the country had considerably more than the average rainfall. Mean temperatures were amongst the highest ever experienced in August.

September was a typical spring month with a persistence of strong and squally westerly winds and frequent rain in districts with a westerly aspect. As regards total rainfall, conditions varied greatly from district to district, and over the country as a whole the fall approximated the average. Temperatures were rather low. Though growth of vegetation was retarded in western and southern districts of the South Island and much of the North, in Hawke's Bay, about Wellington, and in Nelson and the Marlborough Sounds there was rapid growth. A good ambing season was being experienced.

October, except in the first ten or eleven days, was very mild. A rather sharp frost on the 15 th following a cold rain caused very serious damage to fruit and tomato crops in the Hastings district. Except in parts of the Wairarapa and southern Hawke's Bay, vegetation grew rapidly and there was ample feed for stock. Rainfall exceeded the average over most of the west coast of the South Island and the Nelson and Marlborough Provinces, but elsewhere it was below. Temperatures were well above normal.

In November the weather was dull, wet, and changeable. Rainfall exceeded the average in almost all parts, while temperatures were above normal. There was consequently a lush growth of pasture and, except that lambs failed to fatten well on the soft feed, stock were in splendid condition. The wet weather interfered with shearing.

December.—Though the first half was generally fine and much hay was gathered, the last part was wet. Shearing and farm work were again delayed. Stock were in good condition, but feed was soft and rather too plentiful. Rainfall was rather above average and temperatures below. North-easterly gales, heavy rain, and some flooding in the Auckland Province were associated with a cyclonic depression which approached northern New Zealand on the 30th.

Year.—Over the greater part of the country the total rainfall for the year was above average. In considerable areas the excess was 10 in. and upwards. Nevertheless, there were a number of small areas where somewhat less than the average was recorded. Temperatures were slightly below normal in most districts, but a little above in Otago and Southland. In no case did the departures amount to as much as 1° F. The year was remarkable for the variability of weather conditions and the number of new records of intensity created for various types of weather. In temperature, however, there were no great extremes. The amount of bright sunshine was below normal in most districts.

At no time was there a serious shortage of pasture over any large portion of the country, but, on the contrary, in many parts, there was throughout the year a superabundance. The milk yield was therefore good, and stock fared well. The feed was, however, too soft for lambs to fatten very satisfactorily. The lambing season was an excellent one in spite of the rather low temperatures and the high rainfall. The yield of wheat was high, but much of the crop was damaged by sprouting. The 1936 apple crop was good, but the prospects for 1937 one were less so. The cold, dull, and wet weather of the late summer was responsible for considerable irregularity in the blossoming of many trees, shrubs, and flowering plants.

THE NEW ZEALAND OFFICIAL YEAR-BOOK 1938.



Offline ato2

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Re: NZ SUMMARY OF THE WEATHER FOR 1936.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 09:55:07 PM »
Thanks for posting that. An interesting read and a reminder of the great importance of agriculture etc in those days as there is such a frequent reference to farming and orcharding. And the frequent reference to frost---seems we don't talk about it as much, perhaps, today?


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Offline Rwood

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Re: NZ SUMMARY OF THE WEATHER FOR 1936.
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 09:48:10 AM »
Yes, a lot of farming references, which didn't really get more neutral treatment until the 70s or even 80s. The February storm, the most damaging in the entire century, has been well documented by Erick Brenstrum.


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