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Author Topic: NZ weather summary May 1981  (Read 2776 times)

Offline Rwood

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NZ weather summary May 1981
« on: April 19, 2012, 07:27:35 PM »
May 1981: For most of New Zealand it was a cool, dry, sunny month. Winds in the north of the country were predominantly from the easterly quarter while to the south southwesterlies were more frequent than usual. Farmers in the north of the country reported mild conditions with good growth. Heavy rain late in the month caused serious stock and feed losses in central areas while southern districts reported good conditions but with growth slowing rapidly towards the end of the month. Gales affected most of the country on the 12th and 13th with snowfalls to low levels on the ranges in both islands.

Rainfall: Rainfall was below normal for most of the country except the Wellington province, southern Wairarapa and around Marlborough Sounds and Farewell Spit. Exceptionally heavy rain in these areas on the 20th led to widespread local flooding in these areas. Further rain on the 21st-22nd in the Wairarapa led to even more extensive flooding with some heavy stock losses. Wainuiomata had 222mm on the 20th, while as far north as Esk Forest there was a fall of 146mm on the 21st. Areas around Auckland, Hamilton and Taranaki had less than half their normal rainfall. The southeast coast of the South Island also had less than half normal rainfall with some areas around Timaru and Dunedin having less than 25% of average.

Some totals: Cape Palliser 219mm, Kelburn 209mm, Wainuiomata 397mm, Grassmere 186mm, Napier 38mm, Ashburton 19mm, Waikouaiti 6mm.

Temperatures: Temperatures in both islands were close to normal. A warm spell between the 8th and 10th saw readings above 20C in many parts of the country. Dunedin Airport recorded 24.0C on the 8th, its highest May value (records from 1963). Invercargill’s 19.6C maximum on the same day was the highest since 1955. On the 9th, Wellington reached 22.2C, its highest in records that began in 1869. A cold snap followed quickly, with the first snow of the season on skifields on the 12th-13th. A second cold spell between the 23rd and the 30th had mean daily temperatures as much as 5C below normal. Severe frosts were reported in inland areas of the South Island and about Dunedin.

24.5C maximum at Wairoa on the 10th, -8.6C minimum at Omarama on the 29th.

Sunshine:  Sunshine hours were above normal for most of the country. However, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay were 15-30 hours below, Central Otago excluding the Lakes 30 hours below, and Blenheim and Invercargill 10-15 hours below normal. The rest of the South Island had between 5 and 30 hours more than average, while the rest of the North Island had between 20 and 40 hours more.

[Some totals: Kaitaia 167, Dargaville 159, Whangarei 139, Auckland 172, Tauranga 177, Whakatane 184, Rotorua 182, Taupo 150, Hamilton 160, New Plymouth 176, Masterton 123, Gisborne 116, Napier 135, Ohakea 158, Palmerston North 137, Levin 148, Wellington 153, Stratford 143, Wanganui 157, Westport 145, Hokitika 156, Greymouth 131, Nelson 174, Blenheim 148, Kaikoura 129, Mt Cook 92, Methven 139, Christchurch 134, Tekapo 119, Timaru 139, Oamaru Aero 143, Omarama 115, Palmerston 137, Dunedin 113, Queenstown 104, Cromwell 87, Alexandra 84, Gore 107, Invercargill 81.]
 
Sources: NZ Met. Misc. pub. 107 (Climatological table, NZ Gazette) and NZ Met. Misc. pub. 109 (Meteorological Observations).




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