Pot of oil at the end of the rainbow

By Mike Dinsdale

1 comment

Autumn was a mixed up season but there's one certainty about this weekend - it's going to be wet.

A front moving through the region will bring a band of rain, particularly on Saturday evening and, coupled with an easterly wind, will make for a damp weekend.

Night temperatures should not dip below 8deg C.

A climate summary for autumn - March 1 to May 1 - released by Niwa said Northland's weather was a mixed bag with near record high and low temperatures across the region.

Nationally, there was a dry and sunny start to autumn, followed by more unsettled weather as the season progressed.

Niwa research meteorologist Richard Turner said autumn as a whole was characterised by lower pressures than normal over New Zealand and the Tasman Sea, which resulted in a predominant northeasterly flow over the country for the season.

Early autumn was characterised by high pressure systems which were stationary over the country and kept rain-bearing systems away.

As a result, early autumn was very dry and sunny throughout most of the country. Mid-late autumn was characterised by more unsettled weather associated with low pressure systems, with numerous rain-bearing fronts bringing heavy rainfall to some parts of the country.

Kaikohe and Dargaville recorded their third and fourth highest mean autumn temperatures respectively with 16.8C and 17.9C.

Dargaville also recorded its second highest autumn sunshine hours at 529 hours for the three months, which was more than 5 per cent above its average for the season.

Whangarei recorded its second highest autumn temperature ever with 29.1C on March 18, while Kerikeri recorded its third highest autumn temperature of 27.9C on March 11 and Kaitaia its fourth highest with 27.2C on March 8.

But there were also some record, or near record lows for autumn in Northland.

Kerikeri shivered with 2.2C on May 29, its equal lowest autumn reading, while Kaitaia had 4C - the town's second lowest ever autumn temperature - and Kaikohe 4.3C (its fourth lowest for autumn) the same day.

On May 28, Cape Reinga had a low of 5.9C, its third lowest autumn temperature ever.

Cape Reinga also had wind gusting to 152km/h the same day, the forth highest wind speed ever recorded there in autumn.

On April 15, power was cut to customers in the Maungatapere area after wind brought a tree down on to power lines and, at nearby Poroti, power was lost when the wind broke the cross-arm of a power pole. The strong winds uprooted trees throughout Northland and the upper North Island, and ripped two boats from their moorings at Paihia.

On May 8, it was Northland's turn for thunder and lightning, accompanied by heavy rain.

- Northern Advocate

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