Tawa’s climate during February 2008 was typical for the time of year, being warm sunny and relatively dry. Temperatures did not reach the highs recorded in February 2005, but the average temperature was very close to that recorded during the previous two years.
February 2003 was a month of four quarters with weeks of cool cloudy weather alternating with weeks of warm sunny conditions. Low cloud was recorded at times, as was a downpour on the 14th, nor’west gales on the 19th and 20th and an overnight low of 5°C on the 23rd.
February 2004 was a stormy month, with heavy rain events on the 1st, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 19th. There were gales on several days and a near record-breaking gust of 180 km/h at Mt Kaukau on the 21st. The thunderstorm on the 19th was impressively noisy and lasted for over 2 hours.
February 2005 saw a welcome return to warmer, calmer summer weather. Daily maximums began rising steadily from 23°C on the first, to a welcome 32°C on the 5th, after which they began settling back due to cloudy weather. Several days with mid-20s maximums between the 19th and the 25th helped the month end on a bright note.
February 2006 had 13 days on which strong winds blew – almost double the next windiest February, 2004 – continuing January’s windy trend. Rain rates reached 72 mm/hr during a brief downpour on the 10th but the short nature of the event meant that surface flooding was limited. Whilst the maximum temperature was nearly 5°C lower than the maximum for February 2005, most of the month was pleasantly warm.
February 2007 was a remarkably dry month during which only 12 mm of rain fell on 5 days – a dramatic change from the latter part of 2006 when the region gurgled under its burden of rain. In typical February fashion, the month’s highest temperatures were recorded during the first 10 days of the month, with daily maximums of 25°C or higher on 5 days. The month finished with daily maximums between 21°C and 26°C signalling a gradual transition to autumn.
February 2008 was a pleasantly calm month, with 50 mm of rain or drizzle falling on 10 days. Many days were noteworthy for light breezes under sunny skies. A partial solar eclipse late on the afternoon of the 7th lowered light levels noticeably.
At 4-30 a.m. on the 11th, a burst of thunder announced the arrival of a spectacular thunderstorm. The storm brought 20 mm of of rain over the next half hour, and the rain rate reached a maximum of 72 mm/hr at 04:56. By 7 a.m. 33 mm of rain had fallen at Tawa.
An abrupt downpour on the 15th brought the day’s rain total to 6 mm, the only other notable rain event during the month. Otherwise February 2008 was a pleasantly warm month of light winds and typical for the time of year.
Automatic and manual readings taken at Tawa since 2003 can be summarised as follows:
The lowest February temperatures were 5°C (2003), 6°C (2004), 9.2°C (2005), 9.8°C (2006), 9.3°C (2007), 8.2 °C (2008).
The average daily low temperatures were 13°C (2003), 14°C (2004), 16°C (2005), 14°C (2006), 13°C (2007), 14 °C (2008).
The highest February temperatures were 28°C (2003), 23°C (2004), 32.0°C (2005), 27.4°C (2006) 30.7°C (2007), 28.5 °C (2008).
The average daily high temperatures were 22°C (2003), 20°C (2004), 24°C (2005), 23°C (2006), 23°C (2007) 23 °C (2008).
Average February temperature: 19.6°C (2005), 18.2°C(2006), 18.0°C (2007), 18.3 °C (2008).
Average February humidity: 81% (2005), 79% (2006), 76% (2007) 74% (2008).
Days with frost: none (2003), none (2004), none (2005), none (2006), none (2007), none (2008).
Days with rain: 6 (2003), 19 (2004), 5 (2005), 11 (2006), 5 (2007), 10 (2008).
Days with thunderstorms: none (2003), 1 (2004), none (2005), 1 (2006), none (2007), 1 (2008).
Days with hail: none (2003), none (2004), none (2005), none (2006), none (2007), none (2008).
Days with strong winds: 6 (2003), 7 (2004), 3 (2005), 13 (2006), 3 (2007), 7 (2008).
Flood events: none (2003), 2 (2004), none (2005), none (2006), none (2007), none (2008).
February Rainfall: 32 mm (2005), 69 mm (2006), 12 mm (2007), 50 mm (2008).