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National Climate Summary – November 2006


NATIONAL CLIMATE CENTRE FRIDAY 1 DECEMBER 2006

National Climate Summary – November 2006: Large contrasts from southwest to northeast

- Rainfall: Rather dry in eastern Northland and Gisborne; well above normal in the southwest of the North Island, and much of the South Island
- Severe soil moisture deficits in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, significant deficits in other northern and eastern regions
- Temperature: Very warm in the east of the North Island, cold in the southwest of the South Island
- Sunshine: Sunny in Gisborne, very cloudy in the west of the North Island
- Wind: Stormy westerlies over the South Island – especially mid-month

November was a month of much larger than normal contrasts in climate from west to east. It was rather dry in eastern Northland, and Gisborne, but very wet in Horowhenua, and on the Kapiti Coast, as well as much of the South Island. The month’s temperatures were more typical of mid-summer in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, rather than spring. However, it was rather cool in the southwest of the South Island. It was windier than usual in the south and east of the North Island and over much of the South Island.

Rainfall was less than 50 percent (half) of normal in eastern Northland, and Gisborne. The low rainfall in Gisborne and below normal rainfall in Hawke’s Bay has resulted in severe soil moisture deficits (more than 130 mm) there. Significant soil moisture deficits (more than 110 mm) also existed in eastern Northland, Bay of Plenty, central Marlborough, and Otago. In contrast, rainfall for the month was about 200 percent (twice) of normal in Horowhenua, on the Kapiti coast, on the West Coast, and in parts of Canterbury, Otago, and Southland. In contrast, the national average temperature of 13.6 °C was 0.1 °C below normal. However, November was very much warmer than average in parts of Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. It was noticeably cooler in the southwest of the South Island, especially in Fiordland, South Westland, and parts of Southland and Central Otago. A sunny month occurred in Gisborne and coastal Otago. However, it was very cloudy from Waikato to Manawatu. More anticyclones (‘highs’) predominated to the northeast of New Zealand and also well south of Australia, with below average pressures well south of New Zealand. This pattern produced more frequent westerlies and northwesterlies over New Zealand.

Other Highlights:
 The highest temperature during November 2006 was 29.4 °C recorded at Timaru Airport and Musselburgh (Dunedin) on the 23rd. The lowest air temperature for the month was -4.6 °C recorded at Murchison on the19th.
 There were several high rainfall events (most affecting the West Coast) with at least 50 mm in 24 hours, during 4, 7, 11, 13, 16-17, 23-24, and 28-29 November. High rainfall affected Wellington, Taranaki, and Golden Bay on the 17th.
 A wind gust of 159 km/h from the northwest was recorded at South West Cape on the 3rd. High winds from the southwest buffeted Auckland and parts of Bay of Plenty over 9/10 November, damaging roofs, along with fallen trees and broken power lines. Severe northwest gales occurred throughout Canterbury, Marlborough, and the lower North Island on 14 November. A man was killed by a fallen tree in North Canterbury.
 Cold southerlies brought snowfall to 200 m in the South Island, including Queenstown and Geraldine on the 8th, with hail to other eastern regions and the central North Island on the 9th.
 Wellington was the wettest, Dunedin the driest, and Christchurch the sunniest of the five main centres. Temperatures were near normal in Auckland, Hamilton, and Dunedin, and below normal in the two other main centres. Rainfall was above normal in Wellington and Christchurch, near normal in Auckland and Hamilton, and below normal in Dunedin. Sunshine hours were above normal in Dunedin, well below normal in Hamilton, and near normal in the other main centres.

Rainfall: November rainfall totals were less than 50 percent (half) of normal in eastern Northland, and Gisborne. Rainfall was also below normal in Western Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, and along the Kaikoura Coast. In contrast, rainfall was about 200 percent (twice) of normal in Horowhenua, on the Kapiti coast, the West Coast, Canterbury, Otago, and parts of Southland. Rainfall was also above normal in King Country, Manawatu, Wellington, Nelson, the Marlborough Sounds, and Canterbury.
Temperature: Mean temperatures were near normal in the north and west of the North Island, and much of the eastern South Island. However, they were more than 1.5 °C above average in parts of Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. Temperatures were also above average in central Marlborough. It was much cooler in the southwest of the South Island, with mean temperatures more than 1.0 °C below average in Fiordland, South Westland, and parts of Southland and Central Otago.
Sunshine: Sunshine hours and/or solar radiation were at least 110 percent of normal in Gisborne, and coastal Otago, but were well below normal in the west from Waikato to Manawatu.

WELL ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL IN THE SOUTHWEST OF THE NORTH ISLAND AND MUCH OF THE SOUTH ISLAND; RATHER DRY IN EASTERN NORTHLAND AND GISBORNE

November rainfall totals were less than 50 percent (half) of normal in eastern Northland and Gisborne, and 75 percent (three quarters) or less of normal in the western Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, and along the Kaikoura Coast. In contrast, rainfall was about 200 percent (twice) of normal in Horowhenua, on the Kapiti coast, the West Coast, Canterbury, Otago, and parts of Southland. Rainfall was also above normal, with totals 125 percent (one and a quarter) or more of normal, in King Country, Manawatu, Wellington, Nelson, the Marlborough Sounds, and Canterbury. Rainfall was near normal elsewhere.

Low November rainfall was recorded at:
Location November
Rainfall (mm) Percentage
of normal Year
Records began Comments
Gisborne Airport 20 32 1905 Well below normal
Raoul Island 3 3 1937 2nd lowest

High November rainfall was recorded at:
Location November
Rainfall (mm) Percentage
of normal Year
Records began Comments
Motu 329 207 1990 Highest
Levin 147 198 1895 Well above normal
Paraparaumu Airport 195 238 1945 2nd highest
Wallaceville 226 220 1924 3rd highest
Reefton 351 201 1960 3rd highest
Arthurs Pass 1013 240 1906 3rd highest
Mt Cook Village 789 207 1929 Well above normal
Winchmore 120 221 1947 3rd highest
Lake Tekapo 100 242 1925 Well above normal
Tara Hills, Omarama 108 245 1949 Well above normal
Wanaka Airport 122 238 1992 Highest
Ranfurly 67 199 1975 Well above normal
Queenstown Airport 137 249 1968 3rd highest
Lauder 91 197 1942 Equal 3rd highest
Clyde 73 261 1983 2nd highest
Invercargill Airport 162 199 1940 Equal 3rd highest

VERY WARM IN THE EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND, COLD IN THE SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND

The national average temperature of 13.6 °C was 0.1 °C below normal. However, mean temperatures were more than 1.5 °C above average in parts of Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, and at least 0.5 °C above average in central Marlborough. It was much cooler in the southwest of the South Island, with mean temperatures more than 1.0 °C below average in Fiordland, South Westland, and parts of Southland and Central Otago. Temperatures were near average elsewhere.

High November mean temperatures were recorded at:
Location Mean temperature (ºC) Departure from
Normal Year
Records began Comments
Wairoa, North Clyde 17.5 +1.7 1991 Highest
Napier Airport 17.5 +2.2 1973 2nd highest

Low November mean temperatures were recorded at:
Location Mean temperature (ºC) Departure from
Normal Year
Records began Comments
Wanaka Airport 11.3 -2.0 1992 2nd lowest

Napier Airport’s mean daily maximum temperature of 23.1 ºC was equivalent to those normally experienced in January. The mean daily maximum was 2.6 ºC above normal, and 3rd highest there for November since measurements commenced in 1973.


SUNNY IN GISBORNE, VERY CLOUDY IN THE WEST OF THE NORTH ISLAND

Sunshine hours and/or solar radiation were at least 110 percent of normal in Gisborne, and East Otago. Sunshine hours were well below normal in the west from Waikato to Manawatu. Sunshine was normal in most other regions.

Well below average November sunshine hours were recorded at:
Location November
Sunshine (hours) Percentage
of normal Year
records began Comments
Ruakura 143 72 1936 2nd lowest
Taumarunui 99a 60 1947 Lowest
New Plymouth Airport 139 68 1915 3rd lowest, lowest since 1982
Palmerston North 108 63 1930 Lowest
a missing 1 day


NOVEMBER’S CLIMATE IN THE FIVE MAIN CENTRES

Wellington was the wettest, Dunedin the driest, and Christchurch the sunniest of the five main centres. Temperatures were near normal in Auckland, Hamilton, and Dunedin, and below normal in the two other main centres. Rainfall was above normal in Wellington and Christchurch, near normal in Auckland and Hamilton, and below normal in Dunedin. Sunshine hours were above normal in Dunedin, well below normal Hamilton, and near normal in the other main centres.


Location Nov.
Mean
Temp.
(°C) Dep.
from normal
(°C) Nov.
rainfall
(mm) % of
Normal Nov.
Sunshine
(hours) % of
Normal
Auckland 16.3 0.1 Near normal 100a 108 Near normal 201 105 Near normal
Hamilton 15.2 +0.2 Near
normal 86 93 Near normal 143 72 Well below normal
Wellington 12.8 -0.6 Below
normal 173 175 Above normal 191 91 Near normal
Christchurch 12.8 -0.7 Below
normal 65b 140 Above normal 232b 108 Near normal
Dunedin 12.1
-0.2 Near
normal 50 79 Below normal 178 110 Above normal
a Owairaka b Christchurch Airport


HIGHLIGHTS AND EXTREME EVENTS

 Temperature
The highest temperature during November 2006 was 29.4 °C recorded at Timaru Airport and Musselburgh (Dunedin) on the 23rd. The lowest air temperature for the month was -4.6 °C recorded at Murchison on the19th; their lowest November temperature since measurements commenced in 1998.

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

Date Region and location Rainfall
4 Nov. Fiordland Milford Sound (50 mm)
7 Nov. Gisborne hill country, West Coast, Southern Alps Arthurs Pass (87 mm)
11 Nov. West Coast, Southern Alps Arthurs Pass (109 mm)
13 Nov. West Coast, Southern Alps Mt Cook (215 mm)
16 Nov. West Coast, Southern Alps Milford Sound (103 mm)
17 Nov. Wellington, Taranaki, Golden Bay, Westland Arthurs Pass (148 mm)
23-24 Nov. West Coast, Southern Alps Milford Sound (122 mm)
28-29 Nov. West Coast, Southern Alps, Otago, Southland Milford Sound (256 mm)

 High winds
A wind gust of 159 km/h from the northwest was recorded at South West Cape on the 3rd.

High winds from the southwest buffeted Auckland and parts of Bay of Plenty over 9/10 November, Auckland’s Sky tower recording gusts to 150 km/h. Damage occurred to roofs, along with fallen trees and broken power lines (20,000 homes were without electricity). In the Bay of Plenty some of the wind was attributed to tornadoes (most of a roof was lifted of a house and hurled 60m away and the house’s chimney destroyed at Waiotahi at 10am on the 9th).

Severe northwest gales occurred throughout Canterbury, Marlborough, and the lower North Island on 14 November. A man was killed by a fallen tree in North Canterbury, and about 100 trees had fallen at Hanmer Forest. Power was cut to about 2500 residents. Several roofs were damaged by the wind in Wellington’s northern suburbs.

- Cold southerly outbreak with hail and late spring snowfall
Cold southerlies brought snowfall to 200 m in the South Island, including Queenstown and Geraldine on the 8th, with hail to other eastern regions, including the central North Island on the 9th. Hail damaged some blackcurrant crops at Lowcliffe and Waterton (Canterbury).

ENDS

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