Author Topic: Sun-starved September for many  (Read 4046 times)

Offline Rwood

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Sun-starved September for many
« on: September 26, 2016, 09:27:55 PM »
So far the entire North Island and a northeastern section of the South Island has had a substantial sunshine deficit, especially at Wellington. The west, south and most of the hinterland of the SI has been sunnier than average.

Some totals to the 25th (hrs): Cromwell 187 Tekapo 183 Queenstown Aero 182 Richmond 181 (a bit suspect) Nelson 158 Blenheim 144 Invercargill 127 Napier 121 Ashburton 118 Auckland city 116 New Plymouth 106 Christchurch 105 Mangere 96 Wellington 67.

Wellington and Christchurch manual sites are somewhat disadvantaged as the other sites are electronic but Wellington's total is still dreadful.

Records for Wellington: The September low of 105 hours (data back to 1906) is certain to be beaten.

If the total reaches at least 86 (probably will, just) then the record  "largest deficit" for any month here of having only 53% of average (set in May 1942) will not be broken.

Will update at the end of the month.



Offline ato2

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 10:15:22 PM »
Thanks for that update, Rupert. That total is a shocker.
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Offline JennyLeez

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2016, 12:54:55 AM »
Not the entire North Island. This September is an improvement on last years.
September 2015 = 71.3 sunshine hours. We had 10 consecutive days of rain totaling 193.5mm latter half of the month. That is the second longest stint of rainfall I have on record.

September 2015 6th wettest month I have on record 204.6mm

September 2016 sunshine hours to date is 93.9 shaping up to equal 2014 total of 110.7.
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Offline PaulMy

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 03:21:18 AM »
This is an interesting discussion.  I have not been to NZ, AU in 2005 was the closest ;) .  Always thought being in the South Pacific it would be endless hours of sun and swimming 8)

Seriously, for our Northern Hemisphere March would be somewhat comparable to your September and from my sunrecorder these are the sunshine records for March:
2012 172.60 hours 46.50% of daytime
2013 112.40 hours 39.23% of daytime
2014 261.09 hours 70.47% of daytime
2015 244.01 hours 66.05% of daytime
2016 153.61 hours 41.36% of daytime.
Environment Canada 20 year normal is 120 hours for our London/Middlesex area.

Our autumn September is generally wet but not this year.  March is generally recovering from winter snow fall and frost coming out of the ground so good sunshine helps with that.

Enjoy the sunshine,
Paul

Offline Rwood

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 07:38:40 AM »

Where is that 71.3 hours coming from? None of the NIWA-listed sites for Sept last year is any where near that!!! Gisborne recorded 189 hours. {NIWA summary for Sept.2015: Sunshine was near normal (90-109%) for much of the country. Above normal sunshine (110-125%) was recorded in Nelson, Tasman and Westland. }

Anyone recording that last September was clearly NOT catching anywhere near the astronomically possible daylight ....

Offline Rwood

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 07:44:51 AM »

Paul, this September was atypical and bizarre. Increasing numbers of episodes of blocked systems are probably an artefact of climate change. Wellington averages 164 hours for September, record high 243. The sunniest locations in NZ average 190-200 hours.

There are however for some of the cloudier climates some individual months with very low totals. Oddest of all is that the worst month ever in % terms - leaving out some winter readings from sites with deteriorating equipment - was 60.4 hours at Waimate in December 1959, just 13% of the recordable - while leaving out a doubtful reading from Queenstown in November 1937, the best month in % terms was July 1952 at Blenheim, with 231 hours or 84.5% of the recordable.

In the same year, 1959, Waimate had an unusually sunny June with 161 hours!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 07:47:48 AM by Rwood »

Offline TonyC

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2016, 10:19:44 AM »
Hmmm, it is an interesting discussion. I guess it come down to whether one is looking at it from a viewpoint of the official figures for the wider area or from our own local weather station records. I've had a solar sensor for about 3 years now which accurately tracks the amount of sunlight for our little stretch of coastline, but due to the hilly nature of the terrain, at various times of the year the amount of sunlight can vary up to 3 hours of the potential were the hills not there, dependent on the zenith track of the sun.  My figures and those of the Cheviot Station over the other side of the hill just 16km away vary considerably over time.  So I guess the number of hours is subjective to where we are standing at any point of time!

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Offline JennyLeez

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2016, 11:32:22 AM »
Quote
Where is that 71.3 hours coming from? None of the NIWA-listed sites for Sept last year is any where near that!!! Gisborne recorded 189 hours. {NIWA summary for Sept.2015: Sunshine was near normal (90-109%) for much of the country.

That 71.3 hours came from Wairoa :)
Does NIWA have a station in Wairoa....  if so I would like to know where it is.
You can not compare the Wairoa region to Gisborne or Napier. We are set inland, sheltered by hills so very little in the way of wind. Hence the weather just sits, hangs over us as so to speak.  Gisborne and Napier are coastal. Many times I have left Wairoa and traveled in the rain up over the hill ( Wharerata 500 metres give or take) to find the sun shines bright and the road is dry as a bone.

September 2015 I remember well. To the point I went out and took photos and posted here. I will attach a couple of those photos and a link to the Topic from the archives.

71.3 was right. 10 consecutive rain days and the rest were basically gray, bleak and dark. It was a horrible depressing month.







Photos taken from this topic:
East Coast of the North Island  Under Water



Offline Rwood

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 03:47:24 PM »
Quote
That 71.3 hours came from Wairoa :)
Does NIWA have a station in Wairoa....  if so I would like to know where it is.
You can not compare the Wairoa region to Gisborne or Napier. We are set inland, sheltered by hills so very little in the way of wind. Hence the weather just sits, hangs over us as so to speak.  Gisborne and Napier are coastal. Many times I have left Wairoa and traveled in the rain up over the hill ( Wharerata 500 metres give or take) to find the sun shines bright and the road is dry as a bone.

September 2015 I remember well. To the point I went out and took photos and posted here. I will attach a couple of those photos and a link to the Topic from the archives.

71.3 was right. 10 consecutive rain days and the rest were basically gray, bleak and dark. It was a horrible depressing month.

There is no current niwa or met service station recording sunshine in the waitron region. Years ago there was - while the sun recorded was less than at Napier or Gisborne, it wasn't a large difference. Napier averaged about 2250 hours, Gisborne about 2200 and Wairoa about 2075. Even Invercargill has never had less than 84 in September. Recording sunshine is a tricky business and there are many ways of getting it wrong. It is normal to select a site with the most open exposure to maximum daylight. If I could be bothered I would want to know the measurement type and how much daylight can reach the instrument, but I have better things to do with my time. For years the old MS had an instrument buried somewhere in the Waipoua forest, which only established that large trees can cut off a lot of sunlight. A later analyst commented on the stupidity of the site selection and moved the sun recorder to Dargaville. Nothing more from me on this. It's all too annoying .

- Some extras I meant to add: Sept. 2015 up to about the 18th was cool but anticyclonic and despite SE airflows 3 NIWA/Met stations in the Wairoa region recorded only 14mm, 11mm and 13mm respectively in the first 18 days of the month. The last 12-day period was certainly wet with 7 or 8 days in each case getting 1mm or more of rain for totals of 288, 179 and 194mm. Gisborne had 120 hours of sun in the first 18 days however, a pretty good total.

The old Met Wairoa site had good horizon exposure and in March 1969 it headed a list of the 4 highest sun totals ever recorded in NZ in March - 301 at Wairoa, 298 at Gisborne, 294 at Napier and 293 at Waipukurau.

The claimed total of 71.3 could be faulty for a variety of reasons - there are plenty of dodgy records in the official databases which I have been examining for many years now, and recording sunshine is tricky. Those reasons could include poor horizon exposure (the most likely), faulty equipment, incorrect calibration/adjustment or even incorrect totaling of data - all of these things have happened in situations where they should not have.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 09:26:45 PM by Rwood »

Offline Babs

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 05:44:15 PM »
Well look at it this way you don't get sunburnt!
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Offline Rwood

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Re: Sun-starved September for many
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 07:11:01 PM »

True but I'd much rather be where we were a year ago, spending a few days in central Arizona. Lovely blue dome hot days, mild nights and low humidities.


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