Author Topic: NZ weather summary March 1990  (Read 2129 times)

Offline Rwood

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NZ weather summary March 1990
« on: March 12, 2015, 07:58:42 AM »
March 1990: Temperatures were unusually warm during the first half of March. It was very wet from Taranaki to Manawatu, and rather dry in Otago and Southland. Days of soil moisture deficit were well above average in Otago.

[From the synoptic sequence: on the 8th a depression, formerly tropical cyclone ‘Hilda’, lay near Lord Howe Island. A warm moist northerly airstream flowed over the North Island between the depression and an anticyclone to the far east of NZ. The depression stalled and filled from the 9th, and a slow-moving active frontal system moved across the North Island on the 10th and 11th, followed by further fronts through to the 14th].

Rainfall: Rainfall was over 3 times normal from Taranaki to Horowhenua, and about 1.5 to 2 times normal in other western regions of the North Island from southern Auckland to Wellington, and in Wairarapa. Record high totals for March included: Inglewood (648mm, 453% of normal, records from 1909), Lake Mangamahoe (592mm, 510%, 1972), Stratford (405mm, 312%, 1960), New Plymouth Airport (362mm, 373%, 1944) and Paraparaumu Airport (222mm, 292%, 1945).

Heavy rain was recorded on the 9th and 10th, with severe flooding in many places from North Taranaki to Wanganui. New records for one-day rainfalls of 214mm at Stratford and 186mm at New Plymouth were recorded on the 9th, with records from 1960 and 1862 respectively. [They must mean March only, or else February 1971’s record downpour has been overlooked!]. Other extremely high one-day rainfalls were 338mm at Lepperton and 275mm at Inglewood.

It was rather dry along the Kaikoura Coast and in Otago where totals were mostly 30-50% of normal. Rainfall for the month ranged from 50-75% of normal in many places along the West Coast and central South Canterbury.

Temperatures: The average daily temperature for the country was 16.8C, the 8th equal warmest (with 1978 & 1984) in records going back to 1853, and 0.9C above the 30-year average. Departures were 1.5C in Waikato, Nelson and the Mt Cook/Tekapo Basin, and up to 2.0C in Gisborne and Wairarapa.

Night temperatures were unusually high during the 2nd week, with low 20s frequently recorded at many North Island stations. Minima of 23.7C at Gisborne on the morning of the 11th (12C above average) and 22.6C on the 10th at Kaitaia (8C above average) were noteworthy. However, new record low minimum temperatures for March were recorded in places in Canterbury and Otago on the 24th, after a clearance from a one-day spell of cold southerly conditions (e.g. Ch’ch Airport -0.2C, Dunedin Airport -3.8C).

Sunshine: For most of the country, March was a sunny month. Totals were 20-25% above normal in Wairarapa, Canterbury and Southland.

[Some totals: Kaitaia 194, Tauranga 194, Whakatane 221, Te Teko 212, Rotorua 222, Taupo 208, Mangere 180, Te Kauwhata 176, New Plymouth 219, Masterton 206, Dannevirke 199, Martinborough 205, Gisborne 205, Wairoa 192, Paraparaumu 207, Palmerston North 172, Levin 181, Wellington 212, Stratford 188, Wanganui 214, Takaka 228, Westport 199, Arapito 200, Hokitika 191, Nelson 235, Blenheim 249, Kaikoura 207, Mt Cook 162, Christchurch 198, Timaru 161, Palmerston 143, Dunedin Aero 151, Dunedin 115 (*), Queenstown 206, Cromwell 218, Alexandra 209, Invercargill 159, Campbell Is 38].

(*): Musselburgh site values increasingly suspect from late 1980s, improved against “nearby” sites from about 1994, even more so after the manual readings ceased in 1997 and an EWS opened in 2002].


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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