August 2007 Dry and Calm

Tawa’s climate during August 2007 was much drier and calmer than last August, with temperatures typical for the time of year.

Weather notes show that August 2003 was a typical end-of-winter month with drizzly days and occasional days of steady rain. Ground frost was noted on the 5th and the 18th.

August 2004 started with ground frosts being recorded on the 1st and 3rd and frost being noted on the trees on the 4th before drizzly conditions set in. The sun broke through on the 8th, but steady rain returned the following day, easing on the 11th. A north-west gale arose on the 13th, with winds rising to severe gale on the 15th, easing later in the day. A southerly change brought hail on the 16th, with the wind rising to gale force on the 17th, accompanied by sleet, hail and icy showers. The wet and windy conditions eased early on the 19th and calmer conditions applied until the 28th when more hail and icy showers were experienced.

August 2005 was noticeably warmer and calmer than the previous year. Drizzle on the 1st was followed by cooler sunny days, and we narrowly avoided frosts on the 3rd, 4th and 6th with overnight lows of 2 or 3 °C. Two local earthquakes of magnitude 3.5 on the 5th diverted attention from the weather, until drizzly conditions returned on the 8th. Periods of steady rain alternated with dry and cloudy conditions until the 13th when we experienced two days of gusty nor’westers. Still conditions on the 15th allowed a ground frost to set and a gusty northerly on the 17th heralded steady rain the following day. Cold, damp and breezy days followed until the 21st. Light rain fell on the 23rd, and drizzle on the 24th, followed by a couple of fine days. Steady rain on the 27th was followed by the second frosty morning of the month on the 28th.

August 2006 was a stormy month and commenced with the ground already carrying a water burden from July rains, setting the tone for a winter of landslips in the Wellington region. After misty foggy conditions, steady rain on the morning of the 3rd gave way to cooler sunny days which lasted until steady rain returned on the 6th. 17 mm of rain was recorded in Tawa, but conditions were much worse in Northland (north of Auckland, not the Wellington suburb) where flooding caused disruption, and the Bay of Plenty recorded heavy rain with 80 mm being recorded in Te Puke on the 6th. The steady rain continued on the 7th, with 21 mm being recorded in Tawa while the Bay of Plenty and East Cape areas experienced surface flooding and road closures.

Rainfall at Tawa eased on the 8th under the influence of a southerly gale, with conditions easing further the following day. A strong nor’wester on the 12th was followed by a chilly strong southerly which brought more rain on the 14th. Showers continued until late on the 15th, and a ground frost was recorded the following morning. Pleasant sunny days allowed the ground to start drying out, and the gusty northerlies of the 19th were welcomed for their ability to help things to dry out. A brief thunderstorm on the 21st, was followed by frosty mornings on the 23rd and 24th.

Showers on the 25th led into the next heavy rain event when a strong nor’wester delivered 32 mm of rain to Tawa in the 12 hours to midday on the 26th. Slips in the Aro Valley and Wellington caused 4 houses to be evacuated, the Hutt River rose abruptly and the Wellington-Johnsonville commuter railway was closed when a unit was derailed by a slip. Later in the day, slips were reported in Ngaio and several roads, including State Highway 1 at Paekakariki were closed. By the end of the day, Tawa had recorded 43 mm of rain. Dry, windy conditions then applied until the end of the month.

August 2007 was much calmer than the previous August, and started with a day of steady rain, low cloud and fog, with almost no wind. The rain ceased, but the still conditions persisted until steady rain arrived with a gusty northerly on the evening of the 4th. Some big gusts were noted before the wind eased after intermittent downpours on the morning of the 6th.

Apart from showers early on the morning of the 8th, the sun held sway until a rising northerly brought low cloud on the afternoon of the 10th, the wind rising to gale force as evening arrived. The northerly gale persisted, bringing showers the following morning and causing the Rimutaka Hill Road to be closed by the high winds on the afternoon of the 11th. Conditions gradually improved on the 12th. Showers on the morning of the 13th were followed by chilly southerlies that afternoon, and the evening was cold and damp.

Still conditions from the 15th allowed a ground frost to settle the following morning, followed by steady rain on the 17th. Rain eased to showers on the 18th which eased further to drizzle before a strong cold southerly brought more rain on the morning of the 20th. By evening the wind had dropped as did the thermometer, which registered 1 °C the following morning, but a ground frost did not settle except in very sheltered places. A gusty northerly during the morning helped the mercury rise again.

Once again, calm conditions set in, and a ground frost was noted on the morning of the 23rd. Sunny days returned, a strong gusty northerly blew for a few hours on the 25th, but drizzle and low cloud greeted early risers on the 28th. The weather brightened again the following day and the sun dominated, allowing the month to end on a bright note.

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

The lowest August temperatures were 0 °C (2003), -1 °C (2004), 1 °C (2005), -1 °C (2006), 1 °C (2007).
The average daily low temperatures were 6 °C (2003), 6 °C (2004), 7 °C (2005), 6 °C (2006), 6 °C (2007).
The highest August temperatures were 16 °C (2003), 15 °C (2004), 17 °C (2005), 16 °C (2006), 16 °C (2007).
The average daily high temperatures were 13 °C (2003), 12 °C (2004), 14 °C (2005), 12 °C (2006), 13 °C (2007).

Average temperature: 10.6 °C (2005), 9.5 °C (2006), 10.1 °C (2007).
Average humidity: 86% (2005), 86% (2006), 84% (2007).

Days with frost: 2 (2003), 3 (2004), 2 (2005), 3 (2006), 2 (2007).
Days with rain: 16 (2003), 19 (2004), 9 (2005), 16 (2006), 15 (2007).
Days with thunderstorms: none (2003), none (2004), none (2005), 1 (2006), none (2007).
Days with hail: none (2003), 4 (2004), none (2005), none (2006), none (2007).
Days with strong winds: no data (2003), 6 (2004), 4 (2005), 11 (2006), 6 (2007).
Rainfall: 22 mm (2005), 156 mm (2006), 65 mm (2007).

Leave a Reply