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November-Blustery for many

NIWA have released the latest figures from last month and there are no surprises in terms of how dry it was in the far north and how wet it was over much of the South Island.

Winds also blasted parts of the country during the month with a number of wind guages recording gusts more than 100kph.

Starting in the North Island, Whangarei had its second driest November on record with just 10mm of rain which is about 90% below normal. Whitianga also had their 2nd driest November ever with 35mm of rain. Rotorua and Taupo also had a very dry month with 39mm and 24mm falling respectively.

Over the Mainland and Ranfurly had almost 100mm of rain in the month which is about 2 and a half times the average. Hokitika had a big dousing over just one day with 120mm of rain falling and making it the second heaviest one day total with Greymouth hot on its heels.

Heavy rain on 20 and 21 November caused flooding and road closures on the West Coast. Slips closed SH6 in the lower Buller Gorge, SH7 at the Lewis Pass, and many rural roads in the district.
A slip near the Shenandoah Saddle reduced SH65 to one lane. The Grey River burst its banks, and there was extensive flooding of farmland. Widespread stock losses were reported, including one of cattle being electrocuted after floodwaters brought down power lines.
In Greymouth, the racecourse, golf course, speedway, and sports grounds were covered in water and silt, with damage to infrastructure. Surface flooding and strong winds also affected SH73 at Arthurs Pass.

Gales struck the lower North Island on the 21st of November. In Greytown, a tree branch was blown off, injuring two pedestrians who were admitted to Masterton Hospital.
Some flights were delayed at Wellington Airport, with one flight from Auckland making two attempts to land, before giving up and returning to Auckland. Several harbour commuter ferries were cancelled, and a large, high-sided carrier, unable to berth at Aotea Quay, was forced to leave the harbour and circle at the heads where conditions were calmer.
In Wainuiomata, a large tree was blown on to a house. Near Palmerston North, a truck and trailer unit was blown off the road. Westport Airport was closed by the storm.

Gales also battered Southland and Otago on the 25th of November, downing trees and power lines.
Fallen trees caused temporary closures of SH1 north of Waitati, and later in north Dunedin.
Wind warnings were issued for SH8 from Milton to Raes Junction, SH90 from Raes Junction to Gore, and SH87 from Kyeburn to Middlemarch.
The motorcycle beach racing event at Oreti Beach, part of Invercargill’s big Burt Munro Challenge events, was cancelled. A truck blew over in Wyndham bringing down power lines, and in Invercargill, a car door was found blowing down the road.

On the 26th of last month, strong winds made life difficult for the cyclists in the annual Lake Taupo Cycling Challenge, with scattered branches and debris strewn across SH32. The 80 km mountain bike race was cancelled after two hours. In Stratford, marquees were blown over at the annual A & P show.

We did have a very changeable month during November with windy and rainy events and temperatures were cool in the south but above average over the far north.



RW on 4/12/2011 8:00pm

November was very much sunnier than October in the eastern districts from Canterbury northwards. A few gales didn’t count as a high price to pay for escaping the drabness of October as far as I’m concerned.

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