Saturday, 20 July 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Was last month warmer than previous years? And are we seeing less rain?

The weather in Mercury Bay has for the most part been exceptionally good so far this year. But are we seeing a different weather pattern from previous years? Was last month warmer than previous years? And are we seeing less rain than before?

According to the Metservice weather records for Whitianga for the period 1991 to 2019, the average highest temperature for June is 19°C and the average lowest temperature is 1°C. The highest temperature last month in Whitianga was 19°C and the average lowest temperature was 1°C. The highest temperature in June 2018 was also 19°C, but the lowest temperature was -1°C.

“The mean June maximum [for Whitianga] for the 1991 to 2003 period is 15.6°C and this June was right on the money,” says Lewis Ferris, a Metservice communications meteorologist. “The mean June minimum for the same period was 6.4°C and this year came in at 5.5°C.”

The highest and lowest temperatures in Whitianga for the first five months of this year varied in all but one instance with no more than 2°C from the historical average.

In January this year, the highest recorded temperature was 30°C and the lowest temperature was 12°C. The historical average highest temperature for January is 28°C and the historical average lowest temperature is 8°C. January last year also recorded a highest temperature of 30°C, but a lowest temperature of 14°C.

The highest recorded temperature in February this year was 29°C and the lowest temperature was 9°C. The historical average highest temperature for February is 27°C and the historical average lowest temperature is also 9°C.

The highest recorded temperature of 28°C and lowest temperatures of 9°C in March this year were both higher than the historical averages for March of 26°C (highest) and 7°C (lowest).

The recorded highest temperature in April this year was 22°C, two degrees lower than the historical average for April of 24°C. The lowest temperature in April of 4°C was the same as the historical average.

In May this year, the highest recorded temperature was 21°C and the lowest temperature was 3°C. The historical average highest temperature for May is 22°C and the historical average lowest temperature is 2°C.

We have seen so far this year significant less rainfall than the historical average.

In January this year, Whitianga received 15mm of rain, compared to the historical average for January of 113mm. The historical average for February is 124mm, but we received in February this year only 81 mm.

In March this year, Whitianga received 41mm of rain. The historical average for March is 102mm. In April this year, we received 83mm of rain, compared to the historical average for April of 138mm.

Our historical average rainfall for May is 168mm, significantly higher than the 67mm Whitianga received in May this year. Our rainfall last month of 85mm was also below the historical average for June of 149mm.

With total rainfall of 1,122mm, Whitianga was significantly wetter during the first six months of 2018 than the historical average of 794mm.

“Whitianga saw a drier than usual June this year, recording just over half [the town’s] historically normal rainfall,” says Lewis. “Frequent high pressure systems affected the North Island during the month, which led to relatively clear skies and light winds, allowing daytime temperatures to reach above the climatological average and conversely the night time lows were below average.”

Rainfall in Whitianga has been recorded since 1941. The highest rainfall for June of 412.8mm was recorded in 1946. The lowest June rainfall of 31mm was recorded in 1942.

The highest temperature in Whitianga for June of 22.4°C was recorded on 5 June 2011. The lowest temperature of -4.2°C was recorded on 20 June 1994.

Pictured: Whitianga received significant less rain during the first six months of this year compared to the first half of last year.

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