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Author Topic: NZ weather summary May 1959  (Read 1258 times)

Offline Rwood

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NZ weather summary May 1959
« on: May 07, 2018, 10:15:59 PM »
May 1959: It  was one of the coldest and wettest on record for most of the country [about 2.4C below the current 30-year average, though May 1913 was at least 0.5C colder still.] Winds from the southerly quarter brought persistent cloud and rain, particularly to southern and eastern districts. Negligible pasture growth in the South Island and several early snowfalls made conditions there unusually severe for stock. A small depression crossed Taranaki and Manawatu on the 22nd, bringing strong gales. Gales were also widespread over the greater part of the North Island from the 26th to the 28th, affecting power lines.

Rainfall: was more than double the average in Wellington province (except southern Manawatu), in most eastern areas of the South Island and on the Southland plain. In some areas about and just south of the Kaikouras and in parts of Banks Peninsula it was the wettest month on record [April 1968 may have been wetter]. Rainfall was mainly above normal elsewhere, but Bay of Plenty and Westland had only half the average rainfall. [Some high totals: Wanganui 180mm, Masterton 230mm, Kelburn 257mm, Hanmer 424mm, Christchurch 219mm, Ashburton 248mm; about 800mm in parts of the Orongorongo ranges east of Wellington.]

Temperatures: As noted above. Departures from the normals used at the time were about 3-5F in the South Island and 2-4F in the North Island. The worst snow falls occurred in Southland from the 24th to 26th, and the North Island high country from the 25th to 30th. By the 26th 8 in. of snow were lying in Gore, the heaviest May fall for at least 50 years. Many stations reported snow on the 4th-6th, 10th-12th and 17th-18th.

Sunshine: was below average over the greater part of the country. Deficiencies exceeded 30 hours over South Taranaki and most of Wellington province, and in parts of Canterbury and Otago. South Westland, the far north and parts of Marlborough were sunnier than normal.

[Some totals: Te Hapua 177, Kaitaia 175, Kerikeri 159, Whangarei 161, Auckland 151, Tauranga 150, Whakatane 174, Taupo 125, Hamilton 133, New Plymouth 125, Masterton 80, Gisborne 133, Napier 135, Wairoa 132, Paraparaumu 108, Ohakea 73, Palmerston Nth 62, Levin 85, Wellington 103, Wanganui 69, Westport 118, Hokitika 126, Greymouth 101, Haast 169, Nelson 155, Blenheim 189, Grassmere 170, Mt Cook 69, Methven 120, Christchurch 111, Tekapo 90, Timaru 105, Waimate 105, Omarama 124, Dunedin 82, Queenstown 73, Alexandra 115, Invercargill 87, Campbell Is 21, Chatham Is 94].

[Footnote: The weather sequence frequently featured stationary anticyclones over southeastern Australia, particularly over Tasmania. The winter that followed was unusually anticyclonic, dry (except in Northland) and settled, apart from a 3-day southerly storm over the North Island in late July, and was unusually sunny over southern and central parts of the country. Nelson and Blenheim both had over 580 hours of sunshine for June-August.]

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



Offline ato2

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Re: NZ weather summary May 1959
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 08:47:03 AM »
Wow, what a miserable month!
"Send more beer!"
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Offline Rwood

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Re: NZ weather summary May 1959
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 08:54:57 AM »

Most certainly for those with more S/E exposure. Much brighter for the more sheltered spots but still very cool indeed... probably helped set a good skifield snow base for the stable winter though ....


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