Wettest first half of year since 1944

File picture

WEATHER recordings in Niwa’s National Climate database show Gisborne has experienced the wettest first half of a year since 1944.

The first half of this year even topped the six-month total reached in 1988, the devastating Cyclone Bola year.

Rainfall totals to the end of last month reached 779.4 millimetres.

Since the Met Service started official recordings at Darton Airfield in 1937, only 1944 has been wetter, recording 835.5mm over the first half of that year.

Even with a March rain total of over 322mm, the 1988 Bola half-year reached 766.7mm, short of this year by a dozen millimetres.

At the half-yearly mark in 2017, the district had received 149 percent of its 30-year average rainfall (523mm for 1981-2010).

Apart from a dry January (4mm), and an ordinary June (84.2mm), the other four months have been well above the norm.

The impact of all this rain has been felt around the district. Vegetable and other cropping farmers have been hit and soils at saturation are on the move, with a rise in major slips, erosion and road damage.

If it had not been for the excessive rain, Niwa figures show the district would otherwise have been enjoying a good year.

For the first half of the year, the mean daily temperature has been up by three-quarters of a degree: 16.26 degrees against a 30-year average 15.56.

The Gisborne area has also enjoyed more sunshine than usual over the first half of the year: 1187.7 hours against the 30-year average of 985.3 hours.

The big question now is what is the outlook for the rest of winter and spring?

The Gisborne-East Coast area will be wary of any more moisture-laden ex-cyclones spinning out of the Tasman Sea, which Niwa says have been a surprise feature this year.

Niwa’s three-monthly climate outlook to the end of September indicates rainfall should be near average for the region.

Temperatures are likely to be warmer than normal, and river flows and soil moisture levels should be about normal.

WEATHER recordings in Niwa’s National Climate database show Gisborne has experienced the wettest first half of a year since 1944.

The first half of this year even topped the six-month total reached in 1988, the devastating Cyclone Bola year.

Rainfall totals to the end of last month reached 779.4 millimetres.

Since the Met Service started official recordings at Darton Airfield in 1937, only 1944 has been wetter, recording 835.5mm over the first half of that year.

Even with a March rain total of over 322mm, the 1988 Bola half-year reached 766.7mm, short of this year by a dozen millimetres.

At the half-yearly mark in 2017, the district had received 149 percent of its 30-year average rainfall (523mm for 1981-2010).

Apart from a dry January (4mm), and an ordinary June (84.2mm), the other four months have been well above the norm.

The impact of all this rain has been felt around the district. Vegetable and other cropping farmers have been hit and soils at saturation are on the move, with a rise in major slips, erosion and road damage.

If it had not been for the excessive rain, Niwa figures show the district would otherwise have been enjoying a good year.

For the first half of the year, the mean daily temperature has been up by three-quarters of a degree: 16.26 degrees against a 30-year average 15.56.

The Gisborne area has also enjoyed more sunshine than usual over the first half of the year: 1187.7 hours against the 30-year average of 985.3 hours.

The big question now is what is the outlook for the rest of winter and spring?

The Gisborne-East Coast area will be wary of any more moisture-laden ex-cyclones spinning out of the Tasman Sea, which Niwa says have been a surprise feature this year.

Niwa’s three-monthly climate outlook to the end of September indicates rainfall should be near average for the region.

Temperatures are likely to be warmer than normal, and river flows and soil moisture levels should be about normal.

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