Author Topic: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992  (Read 854 times)

Offline Sheldybett

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New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« on: June 06, 2019, 06:42:24 PM »
Weather 1992

1992 was a very significant year for weather in New Zealand. It was very cold, with south-westerlies for much of the year. Easterlies prevailed from September. These, together with more frequent low pressure systems east of the North Island, produced especially cloudy weather over much of the North Island and northern South Island.

The national average temperature of 11.7°C (0.8°C below average) was the lowest since 1945. This was particularly noticeable after the 1984–1990 period which was very warm. Temperatures were 1.5°C below those of 1990 and 0.7°C below those of 1991.

The weather was cooler due to the El Niño weather pattern (which was present during the first part of 1992) and the effects of the ash from the Mt Pinatubo volcanic eruption (still present) back in June 1991. There were also more south-easterly airstreams over New Zealand, which always bring cooler conditions. Very cold winter weather in inland South Island areas had temperatures as low as −15°C measured at Ranfurly in Central Otago on 19 June. The highest temperature of the year was 34°C at Alexandra on 11 March.

Figure 1.2. WEATHER
Sunshine hours (annual average to 1990)

A blanket of snow covering farm machinery at Pukehiki Church, Dunedin.

Winter snowstorms. Snow occurred in Otago and Canterbury on 9–11 May, then heavy snowfalls occurred in Otago and Southland for much of the week from 16 June which gave record low day and night time temperatures. More heavy snow occurred in Canterbury and inland Marlborough from 8–11 July. Later, very cold south-easterlies brought the most severe snowstorms since 1939 along the east coast of the South Island from 27–29 August.

Floods. Severe flooding occurred in Northland, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa from 21–23 July. Waitohora, Wairarapa measured rainfall totalling 195 mm for the 48–hour period to 9 am on 23 July, with numerous slips and road closures throughout the region.

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1993.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 06:43:58 PM by Sheldybett »


Sheldybett

Offline Rwood

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2019, 08:47:34 PM »
As noted elsewhere, the cloudiest year on record for the North Island. For New Zealand as a whole, about equal with 1983 or perhaps a little lower.

Offline Sheldybett

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 07:42:19 PM »
Only Southland had above average sunshine as noted, also I was surprised that July and November are the only two warmer than average months in 1992.

Offline Rwood

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2019, 09:09:32 PM »


The reasons for the coldness are well documented in various papers - look online for references.

Offline KHartill

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 03:14:29 PM »
1992... Amazing year, a rigorously cold winter.  I was studying geology at Canterbury, and spending plenty of time doing ski-mountaineering trips to Cook and the Canterbury ranges.  It seemed most of the year was drab grey with bone chilling damp cold southerly quarter winds.  It snowed fairly consistently 2-3x/week in the ranges.  Had a very cold trip to the Arrowsmith range, skied up the Cameron glacier to Jagged Col in frigid snowy weather, nice run back to the hut door which we had to dig down to... google Cameron hut, the door is a couple of meters above the flat.  It cleared and became intensely cold so we retreated to Geraldine area.  Tried rockclimbing at Hanging rock.  Woke early to find a clydesdale with hooves frozen in the ground.  On one visit to Mount Hutt in late August the snow wall on the side of the access road was just over double bus height, about 8 meters.  The upper T-bar lift line was cut down deep into the snow pack, there were 4-5 meter walls of snow each side along much of the ascent.  I snowboarded with iceaxe in hand from the summit of Mount Rolleston down the Otira valley to beyond the footbridge >5km.  Then in the summer we used to go snowboarding on the permanent ice field in the upper Otira valley... it became hollowed out with caves through the later 90's and disappeared.  Pity, the most accessible ice caves in NZ at the time, 30-45min walking track from the highway... they were stunning blue like the Iceland ones.

Offline Rwood

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 04:05:20 PM »

Interesting account! Not commonly known is that the temperature anomaly in winter was only moderate for NZ, but autumn had a much larger deficit.

NZ seasonal temperature anomalies from the 7SS (cf. 1981-2010 mean): 

Spring 1991        -0.49C
Summer 1991-2  -0.87C
Autumn 1992      -2.04C
Winter 1992        -0.78C
Spring 1992        -0.82C
Summer 1992-3  -1.36C
Autumn 1993      -0.95C
Winter 1993        +0.05C  (finally!)

Offline Sheldybett

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2019, 08:19:54 PM »
No wonder it been a coldest year since 1931, looks today seems a impossibility.

Offline KHartill

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Re: New Zealand Weather Summary for 1992
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 10:03:20 PM »
Interesting data there, thanks.  From memory there were low temps and regular deep snowfalls in the Canterbury ranges in '94, '96 and '97 also.  Sadly '97 was the last proper winter, then the multi-decadal IDO switched along with big el nino of '98, I drove easily up to the main lodge above the first lift at Mt Olympus in Late August '98 and then hiked to the top to find a snow patch.  '92 and '98 polar opposites.  UAH satellite data shows global avg temp for 2019 is lower than '98.  There was marked decline in prevalence of "lee trough NE" wind in Christchurch following that IDO switch.  Pre-'98 we had more -ve SAM westerly induced NE wind... I was professional kiteboarder, testing and developing gear every day in Chch.  Post '98 had more la nina and bossy Hadley cells.


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