New Zealand Local Weather Forum

Weather Discussion => Historical => 1970 - 1974 => Topic started by: Rwood on March 13, 2012, 07:16:22 PM

Title: NZ weather summary May 1970
Post by: Rwood on March 13, 2012, 07:16:22 PM
May 1970:  Marked by an unusually high frequency of southerly to easterly winds. It was colder than normal but also more sunny. Between the spells of unsettled and often cold weather there were brighter and warmer spells lasting for some days. Stock were in good condition but pasture growth was stunted by frosts and in Canterbury the ground was still too dry. Two small local tornadoes were reported on the 8th, at Albany and Bethlehem. Another was reported at Waitara on the 9th. All three left a trail of local damage.

Rainfall: Rainfall was somewhat above normal over most of the North Island with northern and some eastern districts of the South Island. It was below normal over most of the South Island and most of Northland, besides eastern Bay of Plenty with parts of Taupo and north-western Hawkes Bay. The greatest relative deficiency was recorded in the Alps with the Canterbury high country, northern Central Otago and northern Fiordland; in these areas rainfall ranged from a quarter of average down to 3%. Milford Sound received only 1.73”, its lowest for any month in 40 years of observations. [Since surpassed by just 30mm in June 1978]. Rain was general over nearly the whole country on the 8th-9th and 22nd-23rd. Some particularly heavy rain was reported from the Morrinsville-Matamata-Rotorua area on the 8th, with about 1” in 20 minutes in some areas.

Some totals: Napier 145mm, Nelson Aero 185mm; Milford 44mm, Mt Cook 50mm (2nd lowest), Hawea 5mm.

Temperatures: Temperatures were mainly below normal by 1F-2F. Greatest departures were recorded in Central Otago and the Canterbury high country. The main cold southerly spells were on the 10th-11th and 23rd-27th. In the later spell considerable snow was reported, especially in the central high country of the North Island, blocking the Desert Road for some time.

23.4C maximum at Ruatoria on the 9th, -11.9C minimum at Molesworth on the 30th.

Sunshine: Sunshine was mainly above normal by 20-60 hours. Northland, the Southland high country and parts of the West Coast were especially favoured. Two unusually high totals for May were reported from Dargaville (178 hrs) and Hokitika (171 hrs).

 [Some totals:  Kaitaia 173, Kerikeri 167, Whangarei 156, Leigh 164, Auckland 169, Tauranga 163, Whakatane 166, Taupo 123, Opotiki 147, Auckland Aero 163, Hamilton 145, New Plymouth 147, Masterton 117, Gisborne 139, Napier 154, Wairoa 142, Paraparaumu 165, Ohakea 168, Kairanga 164, Palmerston North 145, Levin 161, Wellington 138, Stratford 139, Ohakune 130, Wanganui 161, Takaka 172, Westport 145, Hokitika 171, Greymouth 146, Haast 154, Riwaka 195, Nelson 197, Blenheim 188, Grassmere 156, Kaikoura 144, Mt Cook 113, Mt John 182, Methven 158, Christchurch 142, Tekapo 164, Timaru 141, Waimate 159, Omarama 169, Palmerston 148, Dunedin Aero 125, Dunedin 109, Oamaru 151, Queenstown 115, Alexandra 146, Invercargill 97, Campbell Is 15, Chatham Is 71]

Sources: NZ Met. Misc. pub. 107 (Climatological table, NZ Gazette) and NZ Met. Misc. pub. 109 (Meteorological Observations).
Title: Re: NZ weather summary May 1970
Post by: Rwood on October 26, 2018, 12:06:46 PM
A cool month, but not a harbinger of the following winter. Wellington had a surplus 220mm of rainfall for the May-September period, exactly cancelled by the remaining months of the year.