October 2005 warmer, drier than previous two years

With the proliferation of automatic weather stations, manual weather recordings for Tawa, Wellington will cease at year’s end. Summaries of the readings taken over the 3 years to 2005 will be progressively published to provide background data for the recently installed automatic weather station.

These manual readings are obviously subjective, and represent the microclimate where the observations were made. However, gardeners might find the data of use in understanding germination, flowering and other crop problems.

The lowest October temperatures were 0 (2003), 3 (2004) and 4 (2005).
The average daily low temperatures were 9 (2003), 9 (2004) and 9 (2005).
The highest October temperatures were 21 (2003), 19 (2004) and 22 (2005).
The average daily high temperatures were 16 (2003), 16 (2004) and 17 (2005).

Days with frost: 2 (2003), none (2004), none (2005).
Days with rain: 16 (2003), 16 (2004), 12 (2005).
Days with thunderstorms: none (2003), none (2004) 1 (2005).
Days with hail: 2 (2003), none (2004), 1 (2005).
Days with strong winds: 5 (2003), 5 (2004), 6 (2005).

Friday the 3rd of October 2003 was memorable for a dramatic storm which affected the lower North Island. The day commenced with steady rain and the northerly wind had risen to gale force by mid-morning. Steady rain continued throughout the day and a torrential downpour for 30 minutes in Tawa at 6 p.m. was symptomatic of weather conditions elsewhere in the region.

Whilst the wind eased from a northerly gale during the evening, gusts continued and a Convair freight aircraft crashed on the Kapiti Coast in storm conditions at about 9:30 p.m. By 11 p.m. Wellington was cut-off from the rest of the North Island by flooding at Plimmerton, Paekakariki and Lower Hutt. Passengers were stranded on commuter trains, and traffic on northern roads was at a standstill. The automatic weather station at Mana, north of Tawa, recorded 70mm of rain for the day, 20mm of which fell between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

During the night, a state of emergency was declared on the Kapiti Coast, following a flash flood at Paekakariki. Drizzly rain continued on the morning of October 4th and State Highway 1 remained closed between Paremata and Paraparaumu and State Highway 2 was still closed by slips on the Rimutaka Hill Road; Wellington’s isolation continued.

Drizzle with fine intervals continued on the 5th, but the storm conditions eased as the weather changed to the south, and temperatures fell. A hailstorm that evening seemed to be the storm’s last gasp, and Tawa residents awoke to find a ground frost with the thermometer sitting firmly on zero at 6:55 a.m. on the 6th. Cleanup operations were able to begin in earnest over the next three days of cool but dry weather before more rain fell on October 10th.

One Response to “October 2005 warmer, drier than previous two years”

  1. Dennis Goodman says:

    Goodness, so that’s what you do these days – write all sorts of stuff. I mst reaad it more closely. Cheers from a warm and humid 12.35 am night in Christchurch.

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