Archive for March, 2007

Dry Spell Broken

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

The seventeen-day dry spell at Tawa was broken by a brief downpour between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. today.

The rain rate briefly peaked at 29.5 mm/hr at 6:50 a.m. as 3 mm of rain fell, before rain settled back to a more gentle rate. With low cloud lurking about the hilltops, the barometer has plunged to its lowest reading for the year, 980 hPa, continuing a downward trend that began yesterday morning.

Elsewhere in the Wellington region, welcome rain fell at Raumati South, Mana, and Lower Hutt.

Kermadec Islands Earthquakes

Monday, March 12th, 2007

A pair of earthquakes struck an hour apart in the Kermadec Islands this afternoon, New Zealand time.

The first event was a 35 km deep magnitude 5.2 quake which struck 115 km north-east of Raoul Island at 1:54 p.m. New Zealand Daylight Time on Monday 12th of March 2007. It was followed 63 minutes later by a magnitude 4.7 earthquake at the greater depth of 131 km at a location 115 km north-north-east of Raoul Island.

The earthquakes follow three earthquake events with magnitudes between 4.7 and 4.9 which have struck near Tonga since March 6th. The latest quake in that series, a shallow magnitude 4.9 earthquake, struck at 6:25 this morning.

[Compiled from data supplied by the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

February 2007 Calmer, Drier than previous two years

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Tawa’s climate during February 2007 was cooler, drier and calmer than the same period in 2005 and 2006, but warmer and drier than 2003 and 2004.


Look But Don’t Touch

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Gisborne’s first telephone exchange opened on the 1st of March 1897, with 60 subscribers. The manual service was maintained by two operators, Miss S. Buchanan and Miss Nasmith between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Miss Nasmith, who authored “Land of Toi, By Pacific Waters” (short stories) and “Kowhai Blossoms” (a book of verse) married Douglas Blair from another of Gisborne’s pioneering families. I had the pleasure of working for another member of the Blair family when I worked at the telephone exchange in the 1970s but did not know, at the time, of their family’s long association with communication in the district.


Hydro Lake Storage Declines During January

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

At the beginning of January 2007, New Zealand’s hydro-electric lake storage stood at 3552 Gigawatt hours (GWh), 121% of the average for the time of year. By month’s end, storage had declined slightly to 3524 GWh which was 111% of average.


Geological Summary for New Zealand Area, January 2007

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Earthquake activity continued at a low level. White Island, Mt Ngauruhoe, and Mt Ruapehu remained at Alert Level 1.

Geonet, the USGS (NEIC) and GNS Science reported 32 earthquakes in the New Zealand area between the Kermadec Islands in the north, and the Auckland Islands to the south during January 2007. The magnitude distributions were as follows:
M6 to 6.9 (1), M5 to 5.9 (2), M4 to 4.9 (13) M3 to 3.9 (9).
An additional 7 events in the magnitude 2 range were deemed worthy of mention.


Shallow Earthquakes, Central New Zealand

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Residents of the lower North Island and upper South Island have reported feeling several earthquakes since February 27th. These earthquakes have been unusually shallow events, the latest of which occurred near Foxton last evening.


Matata Earthquake Swarms

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

The earthquake swarm activity which commenced near Matata in the Bay of Plenty during December is continuing with activity reported at four distinct locations – north-west, north and north-east of the town and within 5 km of Matata itself.


Earthquake in the Kermadecs

Monday, March 5th, 2007

A moderately strong earthquake struck the Kermadec Islands early this afternoon.

The magnitude 5.2 quake, which struck at 2:16 p.m. on Monday March 5th 2007 NZ Daylight Time, was located 115 km south of Raoul Island at a depth of 35 km.

[Compiled from data supplied by the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

Quarry Blast Shakes Wellingtonians

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Residents of three Wellington suburbs reported feeling an earthquake at 2:27 yesterday afternoon.

Investigation confirmed the shake, which registered as a magnitude 2.0 earthquake at a depth of 0 km, was due to blasting at a harbourside quarry.


January 2007 Calmer Than Previous Four Years

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Tawa’s climate during January 2007 was wetter and cooler than 2006 but warmer and drier than 2005. Overall, the month was calmer than conditions experienced during the previous four years.


The Edgecumbe Earthquake of 1987

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

The magnitude 6 earthquake which struck the Bay of Plenty area on the 2nd of March 1987 is remembered as the “Edgecumbe Earthquake” even though it was centred close to the coastal town of Matata. The damage it caused was most severe in Edgecumbe and nearly as severe in Kawerau, Matata, Thornton and Te Teko, with surface ruptures spreading across the Rangitaiki Plains.

During the preceding month, swarms of earthquakes had unnerved the residents of Kawerau and Edgecumbe and distinct foreshocks were felt at Matata and Thornton prior to the main earthquake.