November 2006 Cooler, Wetter, Windier

Tawa’s climate during November 2006 was cooler, wetter and windier than the previous three years.

Automatic and manual readings taken at Tawa since 2003 can be summarised as follows:

The lowest November temperatures were 3 °C (2003), 7 °C (2004), 5 °C (2005) and 1 °C (2006).
The average daily low temperatures were 10 °C (2003), 11 °C (2004), 11 °C (2005) and 11 °C (2006).
The highest November temperatures were 21 °C (2003), 24 °C (2004), 25 °C (2005) and 20 °C (2006).
The average daily high temperatures were 18 °C (2003), 19 °C (2004), 19 °C (2005) and 17 °C (2006).

Average temperature: 14.7 °C (2005), 14.0 °C (2006).

Days with frost: none (2003), none (2004), none (2005) none (2006).
Days with rain: 11 (2003), 10 (2004), 7 (2005), 15 (2006).
Days with thunderstorms: none (2003), none (2004), none (2005), 1 (2006).
Days with hail: none (2003), 1 (2004), none (2005), 2 (2006).
Days with strong winds: 9 (2003), 13 (2004), 10 (2005), 15 (2006).

Rainfall: 12 mm (2005), 137 mm (2006).

November 2003 started with sunny days, apart from the 2nd when a strong nor’wester brought showers during the morning. A strong easterly on the 10th was followed by a strong nor’wester on the 12th which returned with showers on the 14th. The nor’wester returned on the 15th, and brought a downpour that evening before easing to still conditions overnight.

The wind picked up from the north-west again on the morning of the 16th and some strong gusts were noted that afternoon. The following day misty rain obscured most of the valley. The nor’wester returned on the 20th and 21st before easing to misty, drizzly conditions on the 22nd. Steady rain set in on the 26th, 27th and 28th but was blown away by another gusty nor’wester on the 29th.

November 2004 featured sunny, calm conditions until a strong nor’wester blew in on the 4th punctuated by the rattle of a magnitude 4.8 earthquake centred near Otaki during the evening. The wind changed to the north and brought rain on the 5th, easing during the evening. Low cloud on the 7th was chased off by a gusty nor’easter late afternoon, with the wind moving to the northerly quarter on the 8th and increasing in strength on the 9th. Showers on the 10th were followed by steady rain on the 11th.

Muggy, still conditions on the 14th featured a downpour that evening before a north-west gale brought a mix of steady rain, intermittent downpours and sunshowers the following day. The rain eased, but the wind continued blowing on the 16th.

Milder conditions prevailed for several days before a gusty northerly on the 20th moved to the north-west and rose to gale force. Winds then eased, with a spell of showers on the 23rd, steady rain on the 25th, and a cold southerly with showers and hail on the 26th. The southerly slowly eased, and the 29th was a drizzly foggy day following a brief westerly gale around dawn.

November 2005 started with cool, still conditions, with a gusty northerly rising for a few hours on the 3rd. The wind rose again on the 5th, alternating between north and north-west for most of the day before still conditions returned.

The calm cool conditions continued until the 16th when a gusty nor’easter blew for a few hours late in the day. A gusty northerly arose on the 19th and blew steadily until abruptly changing to the south early on the morning of the 22nd when a brief spell of showers arrived. The wind dropped but still blew from the south, bringing cool, drizzly conditions until the 28th when it increased in force for a few hours before dropping completely.

November 2006 also started with cool calm conditions, but these were soon replaced by a gusty northerly which arrived on the 4th and increased in strength on the 5th, bringing showers. The wind eased but left gloomy days of showers, low cloud and fog on the 6th and 7th. The 8th was showery, and a cold southerly brought showers, hail and intermittent downpours of rain on the 9th.

The wind changed to the north on the 11th, then turned to the north-west and rose to gale force during the evening, bringing drizzle and low cloud the next day. The wind dropped for most of the 13th, but returned as a gale northerly on the morning of the 14th, rising to severe gale force during the afternoon. Gusts up to 150 km/h were recorded on the Rimutaka Hill Road, closing it to most traffic while gusts to 125 km/h were recorded at Mt Kaukau at about 4 p.m. The Mount Victoria Tunnel was closed by a fallen tree and, as evening fell, wind gusts peaked at 150 km/h at Mt Kaukau and 120 km/h in downtown Wellington. Hanmer Springs in the northern South Island bore the brunt of the storm, where a man was killed by a falling tree, many trees were uprooted and house rooves were lifted.

Back in Tawa the wind blew strongly through the night, easing just before dawn but leaving showers and misty low cloud. The respite was short-lived with a short period of sun on the afternoon of the 15th being replaced with showers and a strong northerly on the 16th, 17th and 18th. 21 mm of rain fell on the 17th, and a downpour contributed most of the 18 mm which fell on the 18th. As the wind abruptly dropped just after midnight on the 18th, some locals wondered “What next?” The magnitude 5.5 earthquake in the Marlborough Sounds at 3:38 a.m. on the 19th answered that question by eagerly rattling doors and windows as it rumbled through in the unexpectedly quiet conditions.

The still conditions continued through the 20th and 21st, with periods of drizzle, but the northerly returned on the 22nd, rising to gale force on the 23rd and 24th. The wind eased on the 25th but returned to gale force on the 26th, bringing showers. A brief thunderstorm on the evening of the 27th, cast hail about before easing back to showers. Calm returned until the 30th, when a northerly gale returned with steady rain to usher in a dismal start to December.

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