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Hot stuff and our perception

Yesterday’s very hot weather in the north of the North Island surprised many, including forecasters, as rain arrived much later than expected with the sun shining brightly for a time, causing the mercury to soar to record highs.

Auckland Fries

32.4 degrees was recorded at Whenuapai which was the highest recorded temperature in over 130 years.  Some city folk said the hot air from the northerly (similar to Canterbury’s nor’ wester) didn’t see the temperature top 30 degrees, so does this mean a record wasn’t broken? The simple answer- no.

Auckland covers a vast area and temperatures vary citywide but Whenuapai is an ‘official’ site. The Metservice also have another site at Auckland airport,  which failed to hit the dizzy heights yesterday, as the wind didn’t bring the heat to the same extreme as Whenuapai.

It doesn’t matter whether there are 2 thermometers or 200 really, as thermometers are generally accurate given the optimum placement.  They should be in the shade and about 1.5 metres above ground in the open air away from buildings and roads.

There will always be different readings from different locations and we will all have different perceptions of what feels hot or not but usually the thermometer doesn’t lie.

Canterbury Shivers?

As human beings though, we are a creative lot even when it comes to talking about the weather.  It was a cold day yesterday in Christchurch with driving rain off and on and a chilly southerly blowing.  I was talking with a friend who said ‘ When is summer coming back?  We’ve had one month of it and now look!’  

I was rather taken aback by his comments as it was the first wet southerly of its kind in 7 weeks there and the garden city has had its driest and hottest summer in a number of years with readings on many occasions above 30 degrees.

Why spoil a good story with facts?!

Just remember as we’ve said before, whether  the weather is hot, or whether the weather  is not, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!

Weather Analyst- Richard Green


R Wood on 13/02/2009 7:12pm

Richard, your friend’s silly comment is the kind that has irritated me since I was a kid interested in weather. Uttter lack of objectivity. Of course, for people who like to complain there’s always the opportunity to whine whenever the weather goes against their wishes.

WW Forecast Team on 13/02/2009 10:23pm

Yes and no matter how much I try to explain, he wont listen either which can be infuriating!!



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