Author Topic: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1954  (Read 731 times)

Offline Sheldybett

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New Zealand Weather Summary for 1954
« on: May 22, 2019, 09:04:00 PM »
A Brief Review of 1954.

Over the districts of Taranaki, Wellington, Canterbury (except North Canterbury), and Otago rainfall was mainly 15 to 25 per cent below normal. Over the remainder of the country it was about normal, except in northern Hawke's Bay and the Gisborne district, where there was a surplus of 15 to 30 per cent.

Temperatures were well above normal over the whole country, mainly by about a degree. The departure reached 1½° in the National Park - Wanganui area and in Central Otago and western Southland.

It was a cloudy year for the North Island, with sunshine deficiencies mainly exceeding 100 hours. The South Island fared better, sunshine being mainly close to normal. The Ashburton-Christchurch area was specially favoured, with a surplus of over 100 hours. In parts of South Canterbury, however, sunshine was more than 100 hours below normal.

Seasonal Notes.—The first two months of the year were both warm and dry, February being, in fact, the hottest month since February 1938. The combined effect of two to four months of dry weather and unusually high temperatures caused a serious shortage of green feed in most North Island districts. Although the warm weather continued into March, the dry spell was broken by considerable rain, especially in the North Island, and it was a month of good pasture growth. The Auckland district suffered damage from north-easterly gales and flooding from 6–8 March.

In contrast to the three previous months, April was appreciably cooler than usual. However, May and June were both mild months; in fact, in the South Island it was the warmest June for at least forty-five years. For a large part of the country these two months were also somewhat drier than usual, and the combination proved beneficial to pasture growth. There was serious flooding in parts of the Auckland district as a result of four days of continuous rain from 17 May, the Hauraki Plains suffering most damage. Serious flooding also occurred in the Wairau River, Marlborough, on 16 and 17 June.

The mild weather of autumn and early winter gave place to dull, unsettled, and colder weather early in July, and similar conditions persisted in August. These months were notable for three or four rather extensive falls of snow. In the first, from 8–10 July, low levels as far north as the King Country were affected, some areas receiving their first snowfall for twenty-five years. About a fortnight later there was a rather heavy fall on the central plateau of the North Island. The third extensive fall occurred in the middle of August in Central Otago and the Canterbury high country, and it led to considerable losses of lambs in these districts. On 14 and 15 August strong gales affected many parts of the country, several hundred trees being blown down in the Nelson-Buller-Westland area. On 26 and 27 August heavy rain caused extensive surface flooding in the Manawatu-Rangitikei-Wanganui area.

In marked contrast to July and August, the spring season was very dry; in fact, the total rainfall from September to November was the lowest in over fifty years. The first two months were sunny, but November was cloudy and also exceptionally warm. The dry weather proved beneficial at first, but growth slowed up during October, and dairy production soon declined. Hay crops were everywhere very light. A severe frost in Hawke's Bay on 16 October spoilt a considerable part of the fruit crop. There were several falls of snow on the high country, the last about the middle of November.

December was a dull, wet month in most eastern districts, but comparatively warm and sunny in Westland. Most parts of the country received sufficient rain to restore pastures to good condition.

THE NEW ZEALAND OFFICIAL YEAR-BOOK, 1955.


Sheldybett

Offline Rwood

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1954
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 11:08:18 PM »
Refer also to the post on 1951-1961 sunshine. 1954 was not as cloudy in the North Island as the report implies, and the South island sites did well. This year was described as warm, but now barely matches the 1981-2010 average. A dull period in Invercargill for May-July resulted in one 30-day period recording only 35.4 hours of sunshine - but the year's total was about normal.


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