Author Topic: NZ weather summary May 1988  (Read 2278 times)

Offline Rwood

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NZ weather summary May 1988
« on: April 21, 2012, 01:44:53 PM »
May 1988: It was anticyclonic for the first few days, followed by a period of disturbed W/SW. At the start of the 2nd week, a North Tasman depression brought moist northerlies, then disturbed westerlies resumed. S/SW flows affected the south and east of South Island after 13th, with more W/SW for the next week. Gale force NW affected Wellington on the 19th, with a number of houses damaged. A cold southerly airflow followed a front over the South Island on the 23rd, with snowfall to low levels in the south and east as far north as Canterbury. 2.5cm of snow lay on the Invercargill Airport runway, with up to 25cm at Tuturau in Southland, and up to 45cm in parts of Central Otago. A shallow trough of low pressure lay over the north of the North Island for the remainder of the month, bringing moist E/NE conditions there. During this time mainly fine cold weather predominated over the South Island and the south of the North Island due to a weak but persistent ridge. Persistent southwesterly conditions brought a record frequency of strong winds, for May, over the south of the South Island, occurring 52% of the time in Invercargill.

Rainfall: Totals ranged from 120% to 180% of normal in much of Northland and Auckland, inland high country areas of Nelson and North Canterbury, and in coastal Southland. Cape Reinga had over 200% of normal. Surface flooding affected Invercargill on 14th/15th, the worst in a decade apart from January 1984. There was a civil emergency in Greymouth after flooding on the 19th, with at least a metre of water in most of the central business area, and around $2 million damage costs. Totals were 30-70% of normal in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, the Kaikoura coast, parts of North Canterbury and in Central Otago. Elsewhere rainfall was near normal. Hail was reported at Invercargill Airport on each day from the 12th to the 24th, in cold southwesterly conditions.

Some totals: Kerikeri 371mm, Coromandel 244mm, Milford 598mm, Cropp Hut 1333mm, Invercargill 176mm; Kurow 19mm.

Temperatures: 25C was recorded in places in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay in northwesterly conditions on the 9th-10th. Some severe air and ground frosts were recorded from the 24th-28th, especially in the South Island, with screen and grass minima the lowest in 20-30 years in many places. Screen lows included -8.8C at Dunedin Airport and Queenstown on the 28th, the former having a record grass minimum of -12.2C on the 28th. Alexandra had screen minima below -6.0C from the 21st to the 30th, the lowest being -9.8C on the 21st. Mean temperatures were about 1C above normal in most of the North Island, but a little below in Wellington and Wairarapa. Over the South Island they ranged from 1C below normal in coastal Southland and most places north of Otago, to 2C below normal in Otago, and up to 3C below in Fiordland. Milford’s 5.7C was 2.8C below average, the lowest since records began 1935.

28.0C maximum at Wairoa on the 4th, -10.6C minimum at Molesworth on the 24th and Alexandra on the 28th.

Sunshine was below normal in western parts of the North Island north of Manawatu, and in Southland. It was particularly cloudy from Taranaki to Auckland, with 92 hours at Auckland Airport (65% of average). It was very sunny in eastern regions from Hawkes Bay to Otago, including Wellington, with totals from 120-140% of normal. Christchurch Aero had 177 hours (139% of normal), and Dunedin Aero 139 hours (135%), both records.

[Some totals: Kaitaia 114, Dargaville 109, Leigh 92, Tauranga 125, Whakatane 131, Rotorua 109, Taupo 107, Mangere 93, New Plymouth 105, Masterton 166, Dannevirke 145, Gisborne 149, Napier 172, Palmerston North 115, Levin 124, Wellington 147, Stratford 122, Manaia 111, Takaka 169, Westport 119, Hokitika 127, Greymouth 100, Nelson 176, Blenheim 176, Grassmere 184, Kaikoura 172, Mt Cook 104, Christchurch 177, Timaru 161, Palmerston 146, Dunedin Aero 139, Dunedin 126, Te Anau 105, Queenstown 103, Cromwell 139, Alexandra 131, Invercargill 74.]

Sources: NZ Met. Misc. pub. 107 (Climatological table, NZ Gazette) and NZ Met. Misc. pub. 109 (Meteorological Observations).

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