INDEPENDENT NEWS

November 2009: An extremely dry, windy month

Published: Wed 2 Dec 2009 05:15 PM
NIWA NATIONAL CLIMATE CENTRE Wednesday 2 December 2009
National Climate Summary – November 2009: An extremely dry, windy month.
• Rainfall: Extremely dry in the northeast of the North Island, and eastern South Island. Record low rainfall in Northland, parts of Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Canterbury, Otago and inland Southland.
• Soil moisture: Unusually low in the northeast of the North Island, especially Northland. Very low in many parts of Otago and Canterbury.
• Sunshine: Extremely sunny in the south of the South Island, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, the Central Plateau. Very cloudy for Northland, Auckland, and south Canterbury.
• Temperature: Near average temperatures across much of the country.
Well below normal rainfall (below 50 percent of normal) was experienced in the northeast of the North Island, and the north and east of the South Island. At several locations in Northland and Central Otago, rainfall totals were in the single figures (less than 10 mm), and broke long-standing low-rainfall records for November. Record or near-record low rainfall was also observed in parts of Auckland and the Coromandel, and in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo, and Central Plateau regions. In the South Island, extremely low rainfall was experienced in Canterbury, Otago, the Lakes District, and inland Southland. In contrast, it was a wet month (more than 120% of normal November rainfall) in the Manawatu-Wanganui district and for coastal Southland.
Overall, November temperatures were near average (between -0.5°C and 0.5°C of average) across most of New Zealand. The New Zealand national average temperature for November was 13.6°C (0.1°C below the long-term November average.
November sunshine totals were well above normal (more than 125 percent of normal) over the south of the South Island. It was also a sunny month in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Taupo, the central Plateau, and the eastern Bay of Plenty, with sunshine totals between 110 and 125 percent of normal in those regions. In contrast, it was a rather cloudy month in Northland, Auckland, and south Canterbury.
It was an extremely windy month. During November 2009, stronger than normal southwest winds affected New Zealand, caused by much deeper lows than usual south of the South Island.
Further Highlights:
• The highest temperature was 32.1°C recorded at Whakatane on the 24th (a November record at this site). The lowest temperature of -3.2 °C was recorded at Waiouru on the 12th (not a record).
• The highest 1-day rainfall was 122.3 mm, recorded at Milford Sound, on the 14th (not a record).
• The highest wind gust was 184 km/hr, recorded at Stewart Island on the 4th (a November record at this site).
• Of the six main centres, Tauranga was the warmest, driest, and sunniest, Wellington the wettest, and Christchurch the coolest.
--
RAINFALL: EXTREMELY DRY IN THE NORTH AND EAST OF BOTH ISLANDS. RECORD LOW RAINFALL IN NORTHLAND, PARTS OF AUCKLAND, COROMANDEL, THE BAY OF PLENTY, TAUPO, AS WELL CANTERBURY, OTAGO, AND INLAND SOUTHLAND.
Well below normal rainfall (below 50 percent of normal) was experienced in the northeast of the North Island, and the north and east of the South Island. At several locations in Northland and Central Otago, rainfall totals were in the single figures (less than 10 mm), and broke long-standing low-rainfall records for November. Record or near-record low rainfall was also observed in parts of Auckland and the Coromandel, and in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo, and Central Plateau regions. In the South Island, record low November rainfall was experienced in Canterbury, Otago, the Lakes District, and inland Southland.
It was a wet month (more than 120% of normal November rainfall) in the Manawatu-Wanganui district and for coastal Southland.
Record or near-record low November rainfall totals were recorded at:
Location / Rainfall total (mm) / Percentage of normal / Year records began / Comments
Kaitaia / 14 / 14 / 1967 / Lowest
Kerikeri / 9 / 7 / 1981 / Lowest
Kaikohe / 12 / 11 / 1956 / Lowest
Dargaville / 19 / 27 / 1943 / 4th-lowest
Whangarei / 6 / 7 / 1937 / Lowest
Warkworth / 25 / 26 / 1966 / 2nd-lowest
Whangaparaoa / 13 / 19 / 1946 / Lowest
Kumeu (Waitakere) / 20 / 22 / 1978 / Lowest
Whitianga / 24 / 21 / 1961 / Lowest
Auckland (Airport) / 22 / 28 / 1959 / 2nd-lowest
Paeroa / 20 / 22 / 1914 / 3rd-lowest
Matamata / 33 / 36 / 1951 / 3rd-lowest
Tauranga / 12 / 14 / 1898 / Lowest
Whakatane / 12 / 14 / 1952 / 2nd-lowest
Rotorua / 22 / 21 / 1963 / Lowest
Taupo / 22 / 28 / 1949 / 2nd-lowest
Lake Rotoiti / 55 / 40 / 1933 / 4th-lowest
Reefton / 69 / 39 / 1960 / 4th-lowest
Winchmore / 20 / 37 / 1909 / 4th-lowest
Darfield / 14 / 27 / 1919 / 3rd-lowest
Lincoln, Broadfield / 10 / 21 / 1881 / 2nd-lowest
Lake Tekapo / 6 / 15 / 1925 / 4th-lowest
Tara Hills / 3 / 8 / 1949 / Lowest
Wanaka / 9 / 17 / 1927 / 4th-lowest
Ranfurly / 1 / 3 / 1943 / Lowest
Dunedin (Airport) / 22 / 40 / 1918 / 4th-lowest
Lumsden / 18 / 24 / 1982 / Lowest
Cromwell / 6 / 18 / 1949 / Lowest
TEMPERATURES: CLOSE TO AVERAGE FOR MANY AREAS; WARMER FOR COASTAL NORTHLAND, COROMANDEL, BAY OF PLENTY, NELSON, PARTS OF CANTERBURY AND OTAGO, AND THE LAKES DISTRICT
Overall, November temperatures were near average (between -0.5°C and 0.5°C of average) across most of New Zealand.
Temperatures were above average (between 0.5°C and 1.2°C above average), however, for eastern Northland, eastern Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty, Nelson, parts of Canterbury and Otago, and the Lakes District. In contrast, temperatures were below average (between 0.5°C and 1.0°C below average) on the western coast of: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Westland, Fiordland; as well as coastal Southland. The New Zealand national average temperature for November was 13.6°C (0.1°C below the long-term November average [This is an interim 7-station New Zealand national average temperature and anomaly, as the East Taratahi Climate Station was closed on 4 November 2009.]).
It was the warmest November on record for Kerikeri and Dunedin, since records began in 1981 and 1947, respectively.
Extreme November mean maximum daily air temperatures were recorded at:
Location / Mean maximum air temperature (°C) / Departure from normal (°C) / Year records began / Comments
Kerikeri / 22.1 / 1.4 / 1981 / Highest
Te Puke / 21.0 / 1.3 / 1973 / 2nd-highest
Whakatane / 21.2 / 0.5 / 1974 / 3rd-highest
Nelson / 20.0 / 1.4 / 1943 / 3rd-highest
Dunedin (Airport) / 19.0 / 1.5 / 1947 / Highest
/ / / /
Kaitaia / 17.9 / -2.0 / 1967 / 2nd-lowest
Dargaville / 18.0 / -2.1 / 1943 / 2nd-lowest
Pukekohe / 17.8 / -1.5 / 1969 / 2nd-lowest
Cape Campbell / 16.0 / -2.4 / 1953 / 4th-lowest
Tiwai Point / 13.7 / -1.6 / 1970 / 3rd-lowest
Extreme November mean minimum daily air temperatures were recorded at:
Location / Mean minimum air temperature (°C) / Departure from normal (°C) / Year records began / Comments
Kumeu (Waitakere) / 11.4 / 0.5 / 1978 / 4th-highest
Whitianga / 12.5 / 1.3 / 1962 / 4th-highest
SUNSHINE: EXTREMELY SUNNY FOR THE SOUTH OF THE SOUTH ISLAND; RATHER CLOUDY IN NORTHLAND AND AUCKLAND
November sunshine totals were well above normal (more than 125 percent of normal) over the south of the South Island. It was also a sunny month in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Taupo, the central Plateau, and the eastern Bay of Plenty, with sunshine totals between 110 and 125 percent of normal in those regions. It was the sunniest November on record at Balclutha, since records began in 1964.
In contrast, it was a rather cloudy month in Northland, Auckland, and south Canterbury.
Record or near-record November sunshine hours were recorded at:
Location / Sunshine (hours) / Percentage Of normal / Year records began / Comments
Turangi / 225 / 121 / 1976 / 4th-highest
Cromwell / 282 / 129 / 1979 / 3rd-highest
Balclutha / 249 / 146 / 1964 / Highest
/ / / /
Kaitaia / 160 / 84 / 1985 / 3rd-lowest
Dargaville / 137 / 75 / 1943 / 3rd-lowest
NOVEMBER CLIMATE IN THE SIX MAIN CENTRES
It was a record dry November in Tauranga, and also extremely dry in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin. Monthly temperatures were below average in Auckland and Christchurch, near average in Hamilton, and Wellington, and above average in the eastern towns of Tauranga and Dunedin. Sunshine totals for November were near normal in all main centres except for Auckland (where it was rather cloudy) and Dunedin (where sunshine totals were above normal). Of the six main centres, Tauranga was the warmest, driest, and sunniest, Wellington the wettest, and Christchurch the coolest.
November 2009 main centre climate statistics:
Location / Mean temp. (°C) / Departure from normal (°C) / / Rainfall (mm) / % of normal / / Sunshine (hours) / % of normal /
Aucklanda / 15.4 / -0.8 / Below average / 20 / 23% / Well below normal / 145 / 76% / Below normal
Taurangab / 16.5 / +0.9 / Above average / 12 / 14% / Record low / 241 / 108% / Near normal
Hamiltonc / 14.3 / -0.4 / Near average / 53 / 55% / Below normal / 169g / 86% / Near normal
Wellingtond / 13.3 / -0.1 / Near average / 71 / 72% / Below normal / 203 / 96% / Near normal
Christchurche / 12.7 / -0.8 / Below average / 25 / 55% / Well below normal / 215 / 100% / Near normal
Dunedinf / 12.9 / +0.6 / Above average / 19 / 30% / 2nd lowest since 1918 / 193 / 120% / Above normal
a Mangere b Tauranga Airport c Hamilton Airport d Kelburn e Christchurch Airport f Musselburgh g Ruakura
HIGHLIGHTS AND EXTREME EVENTS
• Temperature
The highest temperature was 32.1°C recorded at Whakatane on the 24th (a November record at this site).
Record or near-record warm afternoon conditions were experienced in the east of the South Island on November 21st and 23rd, in strong northwesterly events. Several North Island climate stations also recorded record high afternoon temperatures on the day after (the 24th), or on the 29th/30th of the month, also associated with strong northwesterly winds. In contrast, afternoon temperatures were extremely low on the 2nd over northern New Zealand, and on the 30th in the southeast of the South Island.
Extreme daily maximum air temperatures were recorded at:
Location / Extreme maximum temperature (ºC) / Date of extreme temperature / Year Records began / Comments
Kerikeri / 26.4 / 30th / 1981 / 2nd-highest
Kaikohe / 24.9 / 27th / 1973 / 2nd-highest
Whangarei / 25.9 / 30th / 1967 / 3rd-highest
Tauranga / 28.6 / 24th / 1913 / Highest
Te Puke / 28.8 / 24th / 1973 / Highest
Whakatane / 32.1 / 24th / 1975 / Highest
Rotorua / 27.3 / 24th / 1964 / Highest
Turangi / 26.8 / 24th / 1968 / 2nd-highest
Hastings / 30.2 / 29th / 1965 / 4th-highest
Wairoa, North Clyde / 29.8 / 29th / 1964 / 4th-highest
Farewell Spit / 24.4 / 24th / 1971 / 3rd-highest
Le Bons Bay / 25.4 / 21st / 1984 / 4th-highest
Oamaru / 29.0 / 21st / 1967 / Highest
Dunedin (Airport) / 31.1 / 23rd / 1947 / Highest
Queenstown / 26.0 / 23rd / 1968 / Equal 4th-highest
Balclutha / 27.6 / 23rd / 1964 / 4th-highest
Nugget Point / 27.9 / 23rd / 1970 / Highest
/ / / /
Kaitaia / 15.0 / 2nd / 1972 / 3rd-lowest
Kumeu (Waitakere) / 16.2 / 2nd / 1978 / Equal 4th-lowest
Waipara West / 10.2 / 30th / 1973 / Equal 4th-lowest
Oamaru / 11.0 / 30th / 1972 / Equal 4th-lowest
The lowest temperature recorded in November 2009 was -3.2 °C, recorded at Waiouru on the 12th (not a November record at this site).
Minimum temperatures were extremely high on the 21st in parts of Canterbury and Otago, and in the Bay of Plenty and Northland on the 22nd, 23rd and 30th, again associated with the northwesterly wind events. November minimum temperature records were broken at Whangarei, and Gore, in records that started in 1967 and 1972, respectively.
Minimum temperatures were record low on the 7th at Warkworth (records began in 1966), and on the 16th at Dunedin (in records that started in 1947). It was also extremely cold on the 12th over the lower North Island.
Extreme low daily minimum air temperatures were recorded at:
Location / Extreme minimum temperature (ºC) / Date of extreme temperature / Year Records began / Comments
Kerikeri / 17.0 / 23rd / 1978 / Equal 4th-highest
Kaikohe / 17.4 / 23rd / 1973 / Equal 3rd-highest
Whangarei / 19.0 / 30th / 1967 / Highest
Whakatane / 17.0 / 22nd / 1975 / 3rd-highest
Lake Rotoiti / 12.6 / 24th / 1972 / 4th-highest
Waipara West / 19.4 / 21st / 1973 / 2nd-highest
Darfield / 17.7 / 21st / 1954 / 3rd-highest
Wanaka / 15.7 / 21st / 1972 / 2nd-highest
Queenstown / 13.0 / 21st / 1972 / 3rd-highest
Lumsden / 15.3 / 21st / 1982 / 2nd-highest
Cromwell / 17.3 / 21st / 1949 / 2nd-highest
Gore / 15.7 / 21st / 1972 / Highest
/ / / /
Warkworth / 4.4 / 7th / 1966 / Lowest
Turangi / -1.7 / 12th / 1968 / 3rd-lowest
New Plymouth / 2.1 / 12th / 1944 / 3rd-lowest
Martinborough / 0.0 / 12th / 1986 / 3rd-lowest
Hawera / 0.7 / 12th / 1977 / Equal 3rd-lowest
Christchurch / -0.7 / 17th / 1863 / Equal 4th-lowest
Dunedin (Airport) / -0.4 / 16th / 1947 / Lowest
Balclutha / 0.0 / 10th / 1964 / Equal 3rd-lowest
• Heavy rain and flooding
The highest 1-day rainfall was 122.3 mm, recorded at Milford Sound, on the 14th (not a November record at this site). No other extreme rainfalls were observed during the month.
• High winds
The highest wind gust for October was 184 km/hr, recorded at Southwest Cape (Stewart Island) on the 4th (a new November record at this site). Extreme winds were also experienced over parts of Fiordland, Southland, Central Otago and Canterbury on the 4th, where a container ship was from its moorings at the port of Lyttelton.
On 13 November, strong winds caused havoc in Canterbury, grounding helicopters, felling trees, and downing power lines.
Winds at Masterton were too strong for three original World War I planes and 17 replicas to take to the skies at the Remembrance Day World War I Air Show, on the 14th of the month.
On 15 November, gale force winds toppled the main food and wine tent at Toast Martinborough. Two more marquees were crumpled, signs were ripped from their posts, and power was knocked out at Ata Rangi vineyard.
Wind brought down trees and power lines down at Porangahau on the 26th, with gusts to 178 km/hr recorded at Castlepoint.
On the 27th, extreme winds were experienced in Central Otago and Southland. Caravans were knocked over in Canterbury on the 28th, and gusts to 130 km/hr were experienced in West Melton.
Near-record high extreme wind gusts for November were recorded at:
Location / Extreme wind gust speed (km/hr) / Date of extreme gust / Year Records Began / Comments
Castlepoint / 161 / 4th / 1972 / 3rd-highest
Puysegur Point (Fiordland) / 145 / 4th / 1986 / 2nd-highest
Tara Hills (Omarama) / 87 / 27th / 1985 / Equal 4th-highest
Lauder / 132 / 4th / 1981 / Equal highest
Gore / 120 / 27th / 1987 / 4th-highest
www.niwa.co.nz/ncc
ENDS

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