Kaitaia is warmer than this, says weather buff

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Kaitaia man Bruce Buckby, who has been providing climatological data to NIWA and the MetService for more than 30 years, believes that Kaitaia is considerably warmer than portrayed by the maximum daily temperatures reported by TV1 and TV3 every evening.

He claimed that the reported maximums bore little resemblance to actual temperatures in Kaitaia, and were certainly far cooler than those recorded at the former meteorological observatory in Okahu Road, on a ridge significantly higher than the town.

"I believe (suspect) that the temperature is recorded at the MetService's automatic weather station (AWS) on top of Kaitaia Hospital, many metres above the ground and certainly not an officially certified climate site, as are the Kaitaia observatory and NIWA's electronic weather station (EWS) at Kaitaia airport," Mr Buckby said.

"Kaitaia Borough is below all these recording sites, and is usually reported on TV news as one of the coolest towns in New Zealand. This is simply not the case. During the Christmas period TVNZ reported maximum Kaitaia temperatures that were at least three degrees below the observatory maximum, and it would certainly have been much warmer in Kaitaia township.

"The temperature data must originate from and be provided to TVNZ by the MetService," he added.

"Surely some solution or compromise can be found. There are significant implications for the Far North's ostensibly sub-tropical climate, and certainly for tourism, in being misrepresented in this way."

Temperature data could be certified by more than 70 years of records from Kaitaia airport and 30 years from the Okahu Road observatory.

Mr Bucky said he had queried the town's reported temperatures with the MetService in the past but had not received a response. The MetService said it could find no record of earlier queries.

- Northland Age

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