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National Climate Summary – April 2006

MONDAY 1 MAY 2006

National Climate Summary - April 2006

- Rainfall: Above average over much of New Zealand; Severe flooding in Otago and Coromandel
- Soil moisture: Significant deficits eliminated in many areas
- Temperature: Warm, highest nationally since 1981, and 8th highest in reliable records
- Sunshine: Very sunny in Gisborne, rather cloudy in North Westland

Flood-producing rainfall events occurred in North and East Otago over 25/26 April, and in the Hauraki-Coromandel region over 27/28 April. As a result the month's rainfall was very high in these regions.

Rainfall in North and East Otago totalled 300-400 percent three to four times) of normal, and totals in the Hauraki-Coromandel region were at least 200 percent (two times) of normal. Rainfall was also well above normal in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, North Westland, Nelson, the Southern Alps, inland South Canterbury, and inland areas of Southland. Hokitika recorded its highest April rainfall since 1920.

Severe soil moisture deficits were eliminated in many areas. April was much warmer than usual, with mean temperatures being the highest since 1981, and 8th highest since reliable records in the 1860s. The national average temperature of 14.6 ¢XC (higher than March) was 1.2 ¢XC above the 1971-2000 normal. April was much sunnier than normal in Gisborne. However, sunshine was below normal in North Westland and Nelson. During April, depressions (or "lows') were much more frequent than average in the Tasman Sea. This pattern resulted in frequent warm northwesterlies over the North Island, and more northeasterlies than normal over the South Island.

Other Highlights:

- The highest temperature recorded during April 2006 was 29.0 ¢XC recorded in Napier on the 3rd. The lowest temperature for the month was -2.0 ¢XC at Middlemarch, Otago on the 14th.

- Tornado-like winds damaged property on the Kapiti coast during the morning of 8 April, and at Leamington (Waikato) on 20 April.

- The highest wind gust recorded was 128 km/h from the northwest at South West Cape on the 23rd.

- High rainfall in Papakura, Auckland on 18 April, with people having evacuating their homes due to flooding.

- Severe flooding over 25/26 April in North and East Otago. Much of the Taieri Plains including Mosgiel were flooded, as well as the towns of Oamaru and Waitati. Motorists were stranded overnight in their cars. The same weather system brought heavy snowfall to the Remarkable's in West Otago, as well as Coronet Peak and Cardrona.

- More flooding in the Hauraki/Coromandel and Auckland regions over 27/28 April. Floodwaters resulted in the closure of the Karangahake Gorge Road between Paeroa and Waihi, and SH26 between Pareoa and Te Aroha. Flooding also occurred in Whangamata, Pauanui, and Auckland's North Shore.
- Temperatures were above average in all five main centres. Christchurch was the driest and sunniest, and Auckland easily the wettest of the main centres. Rainfall was above average in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, and Dunedin, near average in Wellington. Sunshine hours were above average in Christchurch, below average in Hamilton, and near average in the three other main centres.

Rainfall: Rainfall was 300-400 percent of normal in parts of North and East Otago, and about 200-250 percent of normal in parts of Northland, Auckland, Hauraki-Coromandel, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, North Westland, Nelson, the Southern Alps, inland South Canterbury, and inland areas of Southland. Rainfall was also above average in many other northern and western regions, as well as Hawke's Bay and central Marlborough.

In contrast, April rainfall totals were 50 percent (half) or less of normal in southern parts of Wairarapa and the Kaikoura coast, and also below normal in coastal Southland.
Temperature: Mean temperatures were about 1.5 ¢XC above average throughout much of the North Island, and 2 ¢XC or more above average in parts of Auckland and Coromandel. Temperatures were 1 to 2 ¢XC above average throughout much of the South Island, and more than 2 ¢XC above average in parts of Canterbury and Otago.

Sunshine: Sunshine hours and/or solar radiation were more than 120 percent of normal in Gisborne, and also above normal in parts of Northland, Canterbury and Southland. In contrast, they were well below normal in North Westland and Nelson.


ABOVE AVERAGE RAINFALL OVER MUCH OF NEW ZEALND

Rainfall was 300-400 percent of normal in parts of North and East Otago, and about 200-250 percent of normal in parts of Northland, Auckland, Hauraki-Coromandel, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, North Westland, Nelson, the Southern Alps, inland South Canterbury, and inland areas of Southland. Rainfall was also above average (at least 125 percent of normal) in King Country, the Central Plateau, Wanganui, Manawatu, Hawke's Bay, Buller, and central Marlborough.

In contrast, April rainfall totals were 50 percent (half) or less of normal in southern parts of Wairarapa and the Kaikoura coast, and 75 percent (three quarters) or less of normal in coastal Southland.

Near or record high April rainfall was recorded at:

Location April
Rainfall (mm) Percentage
of normal Year
records began Comments
Warkworth 227 200 1972 Highest
Whangaparaoa 191 243 1987 Highest
Auckland, Henderson 217a 212 1986 Highest
Pareoa 284 275 1914 3rd highest
Matamata, Hinuera 209 204 1999 Highest
Rotorua Airport 231 207 1964 3rd highest
Taupo Airport 151 229 1976 Highest
Whakatu 146 219 1983 3rd highest
Takaka 324 195 2003 Highest
Hokitika 540 217 1866 2nd highest
Reefton 373 231 1904 3rd highest
Oamaru Airport 134 299 1941 2nd highest
Dunedin Airport 164 384 1963 2nd highest
a to 9 am 30 April.


Low April rainfall was recorded at:

Location April
Rainfall (mm) Percentage
of normal Year
records began Comments
Ngawi 28 34 1992 3rd lowest

ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES, ESPECIALLY IN AUCKLAND, COROMANDEL, CANTERBURY AND OTAGO

Mean temperatures were about 1.5 ¢XC above average throughout much of the North Island, and 2 ¢XC or more above average in parts of Auckland and Coromandel. Temperatures were 1 to 2 ¢XC above average throughout much of the South Island, and more than 2 ¢XC above average in parts of Canterbury and Otago.

Near or record high April mean air temperatures were recorded at:

Location Mean temperature Departure from average (¢XC) Records
Began Comments
Henderson, Auckland 17.6 +1.6 1986 2nd highest
Te Puke 16.2 +1.4 1973 3rd highest
Motu 13.5 +2.5 1991 Equal 2nd highest
Mangere, Auckland 17.4 +1.1 1959 Equal 3rd highest
Hamilton Airport 15.6 +1.65 1971 3rd highest
Wellington Airport 16.0 +1.5 1962 Highest
Wallaceville 14.7 +1.8 1940 Equal 2nd highest
Farewell Spit 15.9 +1.4 1971 Equal 2nd highest
Nelson Airport 14.7 +1.6 1943 3rd highest
Blenheim Research 15.1 +1.4 1986 Highest
Kaikoura 14.6 +1.4 1964 3rd highest
Winchmore 13.6 +1.9 1950 2nd highest
Rangiora 13.6 +1.6 1965 Equal 3rd highest
Christchurch Airport 13.7 +1.6 1954 Equal 3rd highest
Christchurch Gardens 14.5 +1.7 1864 3rd highest
Dunedin Airport 12.4 +1.6 1963 2nd highest
Lauder 11.6 +2.4 1987 Highest
Clyde 12.3 +1.8 1983 2nd highest
Ettrick 12.3 +1.8 1985 Highest
Invercargill Airport 12.2 +1.9 1949 3rd highest
Tiwai Point 12.7 +1.5 1971 2nd highest
Campbell Island 8.7 +1.2 1943 Highest
Chatham Island 13.8 +1.3 1957 3rd highest


VERY SUNNY IN GISBORNE, RATHER CLOUDY IN NORTH WESTLAND

Sunshine hours and/or solar radiation were more than 120 percent of normal in Gisborne, and at least 110 percent of normal in parts of Northland, Canterbury, and Southland. In contrast, they were below normal in North Westland and Nelson.


APRIL'S CLIMATE IN THE FIVE MAIN CENTRES

Temperatures were above average in all five main centres. Christchurch was the driest and sunniest, and Auckland easily the wettest of the main centres. Rainfall was above average in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, and Dunedin, and near average in Wellington. Sunshine hours were above average in Christchurch, below average in Hamilton, and near average in the three other main centres.

Location Apr.
Mean
Temp.
(¢XC) Dep.
from normal
(¢XC) Apr.
rainfall
(mm) % of
normal Apr.
Sunshine
(hours) % of
Normal
Auckland 17.4 +1.1 Above average 226a 215 Well above average 159 101 Near average
Hamilton 16.0 +1.4 Above average 182 192 Well above average 149 91 Below average
Wellington 15.1 +1.4 Above
Average 88 88 Near average 157 101 Near average
Christchurch 13.7b +1.6 Well above average 61b 120 Above average 181b 113 Above average
Dunedin 13.0
+1.1 Above average 112 187 Above average 124 102 Near average
a Owairaka b Christchurch Airport


HIGHLIGHTS AND EXTREME EVENTS

Temperature
The highest temperature recorded during April 2006 was 29.0 ¢XC recorded in Napier on the 3rd. The lowest temperature for the month was -2.0 ¢XC at Middlemarch, Otago on the 14th.

Tornadoes and high winds
8 April: Tornado-like winds damaged property on the Kapiti coast during the morning, with a roof lifted off a house.

20-April: Tornado-like winds damaged property at Leamington (Waikato).

The highest wind gust recorded during April 2006 was 128 km/h from the northwest at South West Cape on the 23rd.

High rainfall and floods
18 April: Thunderstorms produced high rainfall in Papakura, Auckland at about noon, with about 30 people having to evacuate their homes due to flooding.

24 April: High rainfall, totalling 50 to 100 mm was recorded in Northland, Auckland, and Coromandel.

25/26 April: Severe flooding occurred during high rainfall in North and East Otago. Rivers ran extremely high throughout the region. Much of the Taieri Plains including Mosgiel were flooded, with some evacuations. The towns of Oamaru and Waitati were also flooded. Many motorists were stranded overnight in their cars. High rainfall, totalling 123 mm and 128 mm was recorded at Dunedin Airport and in Oamaru in the 24 hours to 9am on the 26th.

High 1-day rainfall was recorded at:

Location
Rainfall (mm)
24 hours to 9am 26 April 2006 Year
records
began Comments
Oamaru Airport 109 1950 Highest for any month
Oamaru AWS 128 2006 Highest in the Oamaru district
since 157 mm on 19 March 1929
Dunedin Airport 123 1963 Highest for any month


27/28 April: Thunderstorms with high intensity rainfall and flooding occurred in the Hauraki/Coromandel and Auckland regions. Floodwaters resulted in the closure of the Karangahake Gorge Road between Paeroa and Waihi, and SH26 between Pareoa and Te Aroha. Several motorists were stranded in their cars. Water was as much as 1 m deep in Whangamata, and Pauanui was cut off. Several schools were closed. Parts of North Shore, Auckland were also affected by flooding. Rainfall, totalling 116 mm was recorded at Paeroa in the 24 hours to 9am on the 28th.

- Snowfall
25/26 April: Heavy snowfall (40 cm) occurred on the Remarkable's in West Otago, with 20 cm on Coronet Peak and Cardrona. Linda's Pass was closed due to snowfall.

ENDS

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