Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


The climate of Christmases past



The climate of Christmases past

If history is anything to go by, Wellington and Christchurch are the main centres most likely to experience a dry Christmas Day, while Auckland and Hamilton are the least likely.

That’s according to a new climate study undertaken by NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll.

Mr Noll analysed data from the last 30 Christmas Days, and discovered that the capital city and Christchurch have both experienced just four Christmas Days over that period – an average of one every 7.5 years.

What’s more, Wellington hasn’t suffered a wet Christmas since 2002 – or 15 years – the longest streak of any main centre.

Meanwhile rain has dampened Christmas Day in Auckland and Hamilton on 11 occasions, in Tauranga eight, and in Dunedin six, during the last 30 years.

“That might come as a surprise to some people,” Mr Noll said. “There’s a perception that Christmas in New Zealand is more often soggy than dry.

“We call Christmas ‘wet’ if 1mm or more of rain falls in the 24 hours beginning at 9am on the 25thand ending at 9am on the 26th."

Looking further back in time, Christchurch holds the dubious distinction of experiencing the wettest Christmas Day on record of any main centre. Back in 1909, a whopping 59.7mm fell.

The wettest Christmas Day on record in the main centres
(9am 25th December to 9am 26th December)
Auckland 24.4 mm (1987)
Tauranga 47.0 mm (1926)
Hamilton 37.8 mm (1968)
Wellington 48.6 mm (1973)
Christchurch 59.7 mm (1909)
Dunedin 33.3 mm (1969)

“Of course, history is useful for showing us patterns but it doesn’t tell us exactly what Christmas Day 2017 will be like in the main centres,” Mr Noll said.

“The NIWA Weather team is keeping a close eye on atmospheric developments, and we’ll be letting everyone know how things are shaping up for the big day just as soon as we can.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Income Equality: Time To Double-Down On Cutting CEO Salaries

With reports of a slow-down in CEO pay rises last year, it’s time for Kiwi corporates to double down on cutting excessive salaries to ensure this is a trend not an accident, said Peter Malcolm, spokesperson for the income equality project Closing the Gap. More>>

Manawatu-Whanganui Projects: PGF Top-Up To Rural Broadband Roll-Out

The government has effectively raided the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund to top up the budget for the second phase of its rural broadband initiative, filling in mobile 'black spots' and ensuring broadband is available to marae that don't have access now. More>>


Other Windy Cities: Auckland-Chicago Named A Top 10 ‘Most Exciting’ New Route

The inclusion of Auckland-Chicago on Lonely Planet’s Where to fly in 2019? The 10 most exciting new flight routes list comes just two weeks before Air New Zealand prepares to celebrate its inaugural flight to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on 30 November. More>>

Deadly Strain: ESR Ups Its Reporting On Meningococcal Disease

The increasing number of cases of Group W Meningococcal disease (MenW) has prompted ESR to increase its reporting on the disease to the Ministry of Health. ESR has upped its reporting to weekly. More>>