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Author Topic: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892  (Read 4143 times)

Offline mark

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Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« on: May 15, 2012, 08:40:28 PM »
The climate of Canterbury is well suited to Europeans. It resembles that of Great Britain, but on the plains is far more equable, the mean daily range of temperature being 17.10° Fahr. Observations taken at Lincoln (fourteen miles from Christchurch) for a period of ten years, ending December, 1892, give the following results: Barometer, reduced to 32° Fahr. and sea-level, 30.06 in.; mean maximum daily temperature, 61.47°; mean minimum daily temperature, 43.27°; mean average temperature, 52.37°. The extremes of temperature were 92° and 22° Fahr. The rainfall for the same period averaged 26.809 in. per annum, the extremes being 35.287 in. in 1886 and 14.836 in. in 1890. The average annual number of days on which rain fell was 123, the extremes being 149 in 1887 and 98 in 1891. Snowfalls are very light on the plains, but in the high uplands the climate is much colder and more severe. The changes of weather and temperature are sudden, calms and gales, rain and sunshine, heat and cold alternating. The prevailing winds are north-east, south-west, and north-west—the last a hot wind. The climate, as a whole, is splendidly healthy, bracing, and most enjoyable

copyed from THE NEW ZEALAND OFFICIAL YEAR-BOOK
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 08:43:21 PM by mark »



Offline mark

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Re: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 08:47:30 PM »
MIDDLE ISLAND.
If the North Island has a splendid inheritance in her forests, the Middle Island can boast of her magnificent plain-lands, rolling downs, and vast mountain ranges, all of which, to a greater or less degree, have already been made to contribute to the wealth of the colony.

The central portion of the Middle Island presented to the first-comers a vast plain, covered only with waving tussock-grass, offering little or no obstruction to the plough.

Travelling south the country assumes a different character: easy, undulating downs, well watered, here and there interspersed with fertile plains, the greater portion admirably adapted for agriculture, and all of it suitable for pastoral purposes.

The climate of the Middle Island is not so warm in summer nor so mild in winter as that experienced in the North Island. However, as has already been stated, there are no extremes of heat or cold. Much more might be said in praise of this portion of the colony. It is deemed necessary to say so much in order that readers may better comprehend the comparative ease with which every kind of farming is carried on in New Zealand as compared with other countries less favourably situated.

copyed from THE NEW ZEALAND OFFICIAL YEAR-BOOK 1900

Offline ato2

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Re: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 09:48:47 PM »
Thanks. An interesting read, Mark.
"Send more beer!"
[found in a report to HQ, from a Officer stationed in some outpost in Roman Britain]

Offline mark

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Re: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 08:06:57 PM »
from THE NEW ZEALAND OFFICIAL YEAR-BOOK  1990

The antipodean climate

Although the 1875 Handbook was designed to promote New Zealand to intending immigrants and investors, its description of the weather showed signs of Northern Hemisphere sensibilities struggling with the range of climates in the new colony:

The changes of weather and temperature are very sudden; calms and gales, rain and sunshine, heat and cold, often alternating so frequently and suddenly as to defy previous calculation; so that there cannot he said to he any uniformly wet or dry season in the year. But although these changes are sudden and frequent, they are confined, within very narrow limits, the extremes of daily temperature only varying throughout the year by an average of 20° [Fahrenheit], whilst in Europe, at Rome, and other places of corresponding latitude with New Zealand, the same variation amounts to or exceeds 30°. In respect to temperature, New Zealand may be compared either with England or with Italy, but London is 7° [F] colder than the North, and 4° colder than the South Island of New Zealand, and is less moist.

The mean annual temperature of the North Island is 57°, and of the South Island 52°, that of London and New York being 51°, while at Edinburgh it is only 47°, the heat in summer being tempered by the almost continual breezes, and the winter cold being not nearly so severe as at any of the above-mentioned places, except in the uplands and extreme south.

The mean temperature of the different seasons for the whole colony is in spring 55°, in summer 63°, in autumn 57°, and in winter 48°. January and February, corresponding to July and August in England are the two warmest months in New Zealand; and July and August, corresponding to January and February in England, the two coldest, excepting in Nelson and Wellington, at which places the mean temperature is lowest in June and July.

At Taranaki the climate is remarkably equable, and snow never falls near the coast. At Wellington it is very variable and subject to frequent gusts of wind from the hills that surround the harbour. Nelson enjoys a sheltered position and clear sky. In Canterbury the seasons are more distinctly marked, the frost in winter being occasionally severe (though it never freezes all day near the coast), and the heat in summer often very great.

The winter in Otago is decidedly colder, and severe frosts, with deep snow upon the upland plains, are common in the winter. Stewart's Island is subject to violent winds and frequent fogs.

Strong winds are prevalent throughout the Colony, and particularly in the Straits.

Rain falls frequently, but seldom in such excessive quantity, or for periods of so great length, as in Australia; the heaviest rain seldom exceeding two days' duration, excepting on the West Coast, whilst it is rare for a fortnight to elapse without a shower.

The rainfall for the year 1871 was 54 ½ in., the average rainfall in England being about 45 in

Offline Rwood

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Re: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 08:16:28 PM »
Some of their conclusions and calculations don't add up now, but that is hardly surprising. They haven't got the winter temperature latency right (ie which parts of the country have which coldest months). Otago's winter cold is exaggerated by modern standards, and they haven't said enough about the large superiority over Britain in sunshine averages.

Offline mark

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Re: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 08:31:27 PM »
Thanks Rwood.
You can add some more corrections if you like.
"Some of their conclusions and calculations don't add up now"
Do you mean that in 2012 they dont add up or in 1875 they didnt add up?.

In 2012 they don't add up, generally. For example, they didn't have enough years of record to determine which were the coldest months - seasonal lag is greatest in the northern and western areas, and least in eastern and inland regions. August is cooler than June in the places with most lag, and significantly warmer in Alexandra. December is cooler than March in the north of the country, and the opposite in many places in the southeast.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 08:42:14 PM by Rwood »

Offline Rwood

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Re: Climate in Canterbury pre 1892
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 08:44:14 PM »

Oops - I accidentally edited instead of quoting!


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