February was a very dry month nationally with parts of the central, eastern and northern areas of the North Island seeing very low rainfall totals .It didn’t stop there with more than half the nation recording less than twenty five miliimetres for the month.
Rotorua managed just 1.4 miliimetres of rain, Gisborne 15mm, Napier 14.2 and Whakatane 10.4mm.
Hanmer Springs took out the hottest temperature last month with a sizzling thirty seven degrees and that was the hottest temperature officially recorded over the summer period across the country.
Dunedin Airport took out the nationwide low with a minimum of zero and a crunchy start early one morning in the latter part of February.
Nationally and February 1973 was the last time that the country was as dry collectively and that was the same month that New Zealand recorded its highest ever temperature of 42.4 degrees in Rangiora and Jordan.
That same day Christchurch cracked 41.6 and the next day Ruatoria recorded the highest ever reading for the North Island of 39 degrees.
February, 1908, was the driest the country has seen for the second month of the year ever.
“Two months in a row where sunshine was abundant and apart from the first week in January along the West Coast, rainfall again was scarce across many regions” says Weather Analyst Richard Green.” There was a brief spell of rain early in the month but it didn’t take long for all that moisture to be sucked up again with so many sunny days following.
“High after high crossed the country and endless sunshine and mild to warm temperatures were frequent for most of us” he said.
Sunshine totals were high to very high across the country with a few records coming close to being toppled.
Today saw some showers moving over the country but not all areas managed it. In some places it looked threatening but that’s where it ended.
on 3/03/2013 4:48am
I would’ve thought the 2002 El Nino drought was a lot worse. There the grand-daddy of all immense blocking highs settled between NZ and Antartica, and stayed put for months, pushing all the southerlies off shore. In that one farmers around NZ were in a really bad way with a big nationwide appeal for feed and water. Rail & Fontera came to the party, using the big rail milk tankers to move water around the country. Likewise the farming appeal for stock feed like hay. It was a very bad one for NZ. In Paekakariki we had no real rain for 3 months and ran out of water and our back yards were down to bare soil. Only allowed to flush loos once a day, stack dishes for a week, share bath water and bucket that out for gardens. It was the worst I’ve ever seen it here, but I think much of NZ was in the same boat. We all helped out by giving farm animals water, but sheep died of the heat in the back paddocks leaving a wretched stench, and in the end the farmer had to shift his entire farm to Marton where it was still green. He had to take out a loan to do that. The drought went on through winter into Spring, brrr bloody cold. The hills had not fully recovered when the Oct 2003 NW frontal stalling decimated the countryside here and made the farm uneconomical as so much productive land in the hills was lost. It was a wreck with hills loaded with landslides and gullies filled right up with rock. Three years of flooding followed, where any rain that fell from any direction was torrential, it was insane. My house took a direct hit by lightning, frying everything electrical … only carbon tracks where the wires were in some appliances, and up in the roof. It was the 2nd time, first was phone line being struck, frying my pc … LOL I don’t trust low flying CBs. 2002, 03, 04 & 05 were memorable years weather wise, starting with that El Nino big drought! It made me start wondering if the actual weather was cyclical in NZ – hence the off westerly pattern this year; saw that after El Nino. LOL heaps has been spent on SH1 since then, with months of work off and on. Then falling rock blocked a culvert and el floodo again. After further problems, in several months of work, new drains were put down on SH1 against the hill in late 2011. Then in 2012 it goes underwater 3 times in the first month of this year, new drainage system and all … and Transhit still prefers to 4 lane it for the coastal route; bigger mess; bigger floods to clean up. The weather in NZ is engineer proof, it’ll win every time. Meanwhile with Transmission Gully being taken by Transhit, the farm was too uneconomical, so the farmer sold the entire run to them. That family has farmed Paekakariki since the 1800’s and this is his last season here … so we get a bloody drought which followed floods again! Hope we don’t go into full drought with major floods following it. Local paper this week was still going in about Paraparaumu getting a massive 46 mm of rain in early Feb. Woop dee do, that’s nothing to what we get down here, its just a shower.
on 3/03/2013 3:11am
Quite a few sunshine records have been confirmed as broken, though in many cases the measurement is being done differently now after conversion from “manual” methods to electronic ones, so comparison can be tricky. Wellington had a clear record high, 13 hours better than any previous value, and its highest ever % of recordable sunshine in a calendar month (about 76%).
on 3/03/2013 3:20am
We agree RW but because of a different system it has made it more challenging to assess.
Great for Wellington with such a big percentage!