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August 2008


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  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL



    Temperatures were about average in the North Island, but below average in the South Island.

    National average temperature of 8.9C, 0.2C below average.

    In Wellington:

    Our average temperature was 9.2C, which is exactly average.

    We had 205mm of rainfall, which is 167% of normal.

    We had 155 hours of sunshine, which is 114% of normal.

    So after the "blip" in July, we have gone back to recording sunshine hours above average. However, compared with August 2007, this was a dull month. we had 160 hours of sunshine in that month, really very sunny indeed.

    However, having looked at http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~brugge/Aug2008.html

    I cannot find a listed station in the UK which recorded more sunshine hours than Wellington. Even Lerwick came in just under. I suppose for me this puts into perspective just how poor August must have been back home. I did not consider it to be exceptionally sunny here, from personal experience, though I did think it was a fairly pleasant, but wet, month. For us to have come in sunnier than the UK in a month of winter is quite staggering.

    Wet Weather

    Again, another wet month. We had a lot of Tasman Sea depressions, and planetary scale troughing over us. Yuck.

    Kaikoura recorded 340% of their usual August rainfall, with 240mm.

    In the mountains, not terribly far from Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass (at about 900m ASL) recorded 23% of their normal rainfall with 75mm.

    Hanmer Forest got 135mm of rain in 1 day, their highest 1 day fall ever. They are an inland location, sheltered by mountains all around so this is a heck of a rainfall.


    Balcultha had their coldest August on record, with a mean temperature of 4.1C, 2.5C below normal.

    They had a mean maximum of only 8.4C.

    The coldest temperature this month was -9.5C at Arthurs Pass.

    Kaitaia in the Far North fell to 1.5C one night, their coldest August night on record.

    There were a number of "cold days" across the country. On the 17th Auckland Airport only got to 10.3C, making it their 4th coldest August day on record.


    However, on the North Island several places came in warm. Kumeu had a mean of 11.3C, 0.7C above normal.

    The highest temperature this month was 19.9C in Haast, in southeasterly.


    The highest gust for the month was 77mph, not very high at all.

    Snow and Avalanches

    1 metre of snow fell in Arthurs Pass Village, closed the road for 3 days.

    The Milford Road was closed for 3 days.

    Eight highways closed during the worst of the snowstorms.

    An avalanche hit the Arthurs Pass road, the first time in 20 years.

    Avalanches in the Tararuas, north of Wellington, the first since 1929.

    Ruapehu has its biggest snow base ever at 2000m ASL.

    Snow fell in areas that have not seen it for a very long time. At a mountain pass near Nelson, cars were sent through in single direction convoys.

    Basically, it was an exceptionally snowy month.

    Comparison with the UK February 2008

    Mean Temps:

    NZ: 8.9C (0.2C below average)

    UK: 4.9C (1.9C above average)

    Max Temps:

    NZ: 19.9C

    UK: 18.2C

    Min Temps:

    NZ: -9.5C

    UK: -10.7C


    NZ: 77mph

    UK: 94mph


    NZ: 144 hours (mean of 5 main cities)

    UK: 109 hours (Meto cited)

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