Author Topic: NZ weather summary December 1957  (Read 1108 times)

Offline Rwood

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NZ weather summary December 1957
« on: May 05, 2018, 09:51:57 AM »
December 1957: It was the 3rd successive month with winds from a westerly quarter stronger and more frequent than usual for the time of year. The weather was wet, cool and cloudy over the greater part of the country. These conditions delayed haymaking in many areas and adversely affected sheep in some districts, especially Southland. In Northland and Gisborne farmers complained of the weather being too dry. Three small local tornadoes were reported in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty area on the 5th, and another one occurred at Westport on the 14th.

Rainfall: Rainfall was above normal, except in northern and eastern districts of the North Island, the Waimea Valley of Nelson, and the Kaikoura coast.  In the South Island high country it was twice as wet as usual. Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay received less than half the normal value; Gisborne city was one of the driest places, with only a third of an inch. In the Alps it was the wettest of any month in over 50 years of records. Arthurs Pass received 47”; and the Hermitage, Mt Cook, received 51”, of which 19.34” fell on the 26th. Serious flooding disrupted road and rail transport across the Alps on at least three occasions, namely the 4th, 14th and 26th. On the last occasion the township of Otira was under water and a considerable portion of the railway track was washed out. At the same time major floods developed in several Canterbury and Westland rivers, especially the Rakaia and Waimakariri.

[December 1957 is still the wettest December at Arthurs Pass, but its monthly record is now held by November 1994. The all-months record-holder at the Hermitage is now December 1979 - 1447 mm, boosted by 537mm on the 2nd. Tekapo and Ohau still have 1957 as their wettest December. There was a significant El Nino event that lasted from autumn 1957 to winter 1958. The whole period October 1957 to March 1958 was marked by wet cloudy conditions over much of the South Island. I was in Central Otago from Christmas until mid-January. The conditions were most unsummerlike, and 1957-58 was Alexandra’s cloudiest summer on record. Tekapo also had its cloudiest summer].

Temperatures: Temperatures were below normal over most of the country. Departures exceeded 3F in the South Island high country, the West Coast, and Central Otago. The only parts of the country with appreciably warmer temperatures than usual were Gisborne and central Hawkes Bay. Snow fell on the ranges of the South Island on the 5th and on some ranges of both islands on the 19th, when it was reported in Central Otago as low as 1500 ft.

Sunshine: It was cloudier than usual, except in the Auckland province and on the Canterbury coast and plains. Greatest departures of 40-70 hours were recorded on the West Coast, the Alps, and about Cook Strait.

[Some totals: Te Hapua 239, Kaitaia 219, Kerikeri 230, Whangarei 235, Auckland 221, Tauranga 241, Whakatane 256, Taupo 243, Hamilton 223, New Plymouth 190, Masterton 211, Gisborne 270, Napier 251, Paraparaumu 180, Ohakea 216, Palmerston Nth 175, Levin 161, Wellington 187, Wanganui 224, Westport 148, Hokitika 156, Greymouth 113, Haast 131, Nelson 215, Blenheim 210, Grassmere 216, Mt Cook 118, Methven 207, Christchurch 214, Tekapo 194, Timaru 190, Waimate 164, Omarama 172, Dunedin 147, Queenstown 196, Alexandra 204, Invercargill 177, Campbell Is 77, Chatham Is 178].

Sources: NZ Met. Misc. pub. 107 (Climatological table, NZ Gazette) and NZ Met. Misc. pub. 109 (Meteorological Observations) - additional comments by the poster.




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