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National Climate Summary – August 2006

NATIONAL CLIMATE CENTRE FRIDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2006

National Climate Summary – August 2006

 Rainfall: Wet in the south of the North Island, as well as Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Wanganui, and around Christchurch - landslips in several areas; dry over much of the South Island
 Temperature: Near average in many regions; warmer in Hawke’s Bay, cooler in Otago
 Sunshine: Extremely sunny in Otago and Southland

August rainfall was well above normal in southern parts of the North Island, including Wanganui, Kapiti, Wellington, Wairarapa, and also in Christchurch, with frequent landslips during the month.

In contrast rainfall was well below normal on the Kaikoura coast, and below normal in many other South Island regions. The month was sunnier than normal over much of New Zealand, especially in Otago and Southland. Temperatures were near average in most regions, but above average in parts of Hawke’s Bay and below average in parts of Otago. The national average temperature of 8.8°C was 0.2 °C above the 1971-2000 normal. More anticyclones (‘highs’) over south eastern Australia extended ridges of high pressure into the Tasman. These, as well as frequent depressions southeast of the Chatham Islands produced more southwesterlies than normal over New Zealand.

Other Highlights:
 The highest temperature during August 2006 was 21.8 °C recorded at Timaru Airport on the 29th. This was the 3rd highest August temperature there since records commenced in 1962. The lowest air temperature for the month was -9.0 °C recorded at Alexandra on the 10th. This was one of the lowest temperatures there for August since records commenced in 1929.
 A wind gust of 167 km/h from the northwest was recorded at Southwest Cape (Stewart Island) on the 28th, with 143 km/h from the northwest at Castlepoint on the 31st.
 High rainfall affected Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Coromadel over the 5/6th, Westland and Fiordland over the 18/19th, and Marlborough Sounds and Wellington on the 25/26th. Surface flooding occurred on 8 August in Christchurch after 3 days of rainfall. A major landslip occurred in Kelson, Wellington on the 8th, with another in Oriental Parade, Wellington on the 16th. Flooding occurred in Makara, Wellington on the 25th, with further landslips in some areas.
 Snowfall occurred in Otago, and inland areas of Southland and Canterbury on the 21st, with all major high-country passes closed. Snowfall closed the North Island’s Desert Road on the 25th.
 Dunedin was by far he driest, Wellington the wettest, and Christchurch the coldest but sunniest of the main centres. Rainfall was above average in Wellington and Christchurch (especially in the central city), below average in Dunedin, and near average in the other main centres. Temperatures were near average in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch, and below average in Dunedin. Sunshine totals were above average in Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, and near average in Auckland and Hamilton.

Rainfall: Rainfall was almost 200 percent (twice) of normal in parts of Wanganui, Kapiti, Wellington, Wairarapa, and in Christchurch, and also above normal in coastal Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Manawatu, and Wairarapa. In contrast, August rainfall totals were 50 percent (half) or less of normal on the Kaikoura coast, and also below normal in Hawke’s Bay, Buller, much of Westland and Nelson, South Canterbury, and North and Central Otago.
Sunshine: Sunshine hours and/or solar radiation were at least 120 percent of normal in Otago, Southland, Gisborne, and Wellington and at least 110 percent of normal in Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu, Kapiti, Nelson, Westland, and Canterbury. Sunshine hours were near normal in most other regions.

Temperature: Mean temperatures were near average throughout much of New Zealand. However, they were about 0.5 °C above average in parts of Hawke’s Bay. In contrast, temperatures were more than 0.5 °C below average in parts of Otago.

For further information, please contact:
Dr Jim Salinger – Principal Scientist – Climate, NIWA National Climate Centre, Auckland,
Tel. (09) 375 2053 (work) or (027) 521 9468 (mobile) or (09) 576 9468 (Home)
Stuart Burgess – Climatologist – NIWA National Climate Centre, Wellington, Tel. (04) 386 0569


WET IN THE SOUTH OF THE NORTH ISLAND, AS WELL AS BAY OF PLENTY, TAUPO, WANGANUI, AND AROUND CHRISTCHURCH; DRIER OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTH ISLAND

Rainfall was almost 200 percent (twice) of normal in parts of Wanganui, Kapiti, Wellington, Wairarapa, and in Christchurch, and at least 125 percent (one and a half) of normal in coastal Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Manawatu, and Wairarapa. In contrast, August rainfall totals were 50 percent (half) or less of normal on the Kaikoura coast, and 75 percent (three quarters) or less of normal in Hawke’s Bay, Buller, much of Westland and Nelson, South Canterbury, and North and Central Otago.

High August rainfall was recorded at:

Location August
Rainfall (mm) Percentage
of normal Year
Records began Comments
Wanganui, Spriggens Park 135 194 1890 Well above normal
Paraparaumu Airport 158 175 1945 Equal 4th highest
Wellington, Kelburn 206 168 1862 Well above normal
Christchurch Gardens 130 189 1864 Well above normal


EXTREMELY SUNNY IN INLAND AND SOUTHERN SOUTH ISLAND REGIONS

Sunshine hours and/or solar radiation were at least 120 percent of normal in Otago, Southland, Gisborne, and Wellington and at least 110 percent of normal in Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu, Kapiti, Nelson, Westland, and Canterbury. Sunshine hours were near normal in most other regions.

Well above average August sunshine hours were recorded at:

Location August
Sunshine (hours) Percentage
of normal Year
records began Comments
Gisborne Airport 191 124 1906 Well above average
Wellington, Kelburn 165 121 1928 Well above average
Lake Tekapo 185 123 1928 Well above average
Dunedin, Musselburgh 169 148 1948 2nd highest
Invercargill Airport 161 135 1932 3rd highest


TEMPERATURE: NEAR AVERAGE IN MANY REGIONS; WARMER IN HAWKE’S BAY - COOLER IN OTAGO

Mean temperatures were near average throughout much of New Zealand. The national average temperature was 8.8°C, 0.1°C above average. However, mean temperatures were about 0.5 °C above average in parts of Hawke’s Bay. In contrast, temperatures were more than 0.5 °C below average in parts of Otago.

AUGUST’S CLIMATE IN THE FIVE MAIN CENTRES

Dunedin was by far the driest, Wellington the wettest, and Christchurch the coldest but sunniest of the main centres. Rainfall was above average in Wellington and Christchurch (especially in the central city), below average in Dunedin, and near average in the other main centres. Temperatures were near average in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch, and below average in Dunedin. Sunshine totals were above average in Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, and near average in Auckland and Hamilton.

Location August
Mean
Temp.
(°C) Dep.
from normal
(°C) August
rainfall
(mm) % of
Normal August
Sunshine
(hours) % of
Normal
Auckland 11.5 0.0 Average 112a 92 Near average 145 102 Near average
Hamilton 9.6 -0.2 Near average 114 100 Average 141 102 Near average
Wellington 9.1 -0.1 Near average 206 168 Well above average 165 121 Well above average
Christchurch 7.0 0.0 Average 98b 150 Above average 168b 113 Above average
Dunedin 7.2
-0.4 Below average 38 57 Below average 169 148 Well above average
a Owairaka b Christchurch Airport

HIGHLIGHTS AND EXTREME EVENTS

 Temperature
 The highest temperature during August 2006 was 21.8 °C recorded at Timaru Airport on the 29th. This was the 3rd highest August temperature there since records commenced in 1962. The lowest air temperature for the month was -9.0 °C recorded at Alexandra on the 10th. This was one of the lowest temperatures there for August since records commenced in 1929.

 High winds
A wind gust of 167 km/h from the northwest was recorded at Southwest Cape (Stewart Island) on the 28th, with 143 km/h from the northwest at Castlepoint on the 31st.

 High rainfall
There were several high rainfall events, with at least 50 mm in 24 hours, during August. These were:

Date Region/s affected Population centre with high rainfall
Rainfall (mm)
5-6 August Northland, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel Whitianga Airport 138 (2-days)
18-19 August Westland and Fiordland Milford Sound 210 (2-days)
25-26 August Marlborough Sounds and Wellington Kelburn 100 (2-days)

Surface flooding occurred in Wellsford, Northland on 6 August, and 8 August in Christchurch after 3 days of rainfall causing the Heathcote River to burst its banks. A major landslip occurred in Kelson, Wellington on the 8th, with another near in Oriental Parade, Wellington on the 16th. Flooding occurred in Makara, Wellington on the 25th, with further landslips in some areas.


Snowfall
Snowfall occurred in Otago, and inland areas of Southland and Canterbury on the 21st, with all major high-country passes closed. Snowfall closed the North Island’s Desert Road on the 25th.

ENDS

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