Chilled Kiwi's: Coldest October since 1945

From the weather is not climate department, it seems that the USA is not the only country experiencing an October cold snap.

http://www.christchurchnz.com/media/1007616/Bus_mountains_snow.jpg

Bus tour to the mountains. Undated image from: christchurchnz.com

Coldest October in 64 years

LATEST: It will come as little surprise to most New Zealanders that the country shivered through the coldest October in 64 years.

In its climate summary for the month, the Niwa said the average temperature nationwide was 10.6degC _ 1.4degC below average.

Such a cold October has occurred only four times in the past 100 years, the last time in 1945.

It was only fractionally warmer than August, which recorded a warmer-than-normal average temperature of 10.4degC.

Niwa said October was shaped by a series of southerly fronts, all-time record low temperatures in many areas, and unseasonable late snowfalls.

The heaviest October snowfall since 1967 occurred in Hawke’s Bay and the central  North Island on Octobe 4 and 5 stranding hundreds of travellers, closing roads, and resulting in heavy lambing losses.

Not only was it cold, but it was also wet.

Rainfall was near-record (more than 200 percent of normal) in parts of Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and the Tararua district, and well above normal in the remaining east  of the North Island, as well as Wellington, Marlborough and parts of Canterbury.

It was, however, dry and sunnier than usual on the West Coast of the South Island.

For those pinning their hopes on a quick thaw, Niwa is predicting temperatures over the next three months to be near average for the North Island and top of the South Island, but below average elsewhere.

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47 thoughts on “Chilled Kiwi's: Coldest October since 1945

  1. When I lived in SoCal, when it rained in summer, it was called “liquid sunshine”. I guess that those folks in the upper midwest states can call that stuff coming down beginning about the 1st of October “flakes of global warming”.

  2. Yep, we used up our “winter’s worth of firewood” in July after a frigid May-June, so I got another 2 cords which were, however, delivered wet. July proved to be balmy, August was cold & wet as was September. Some of that firewood never got dry enough to use. Now we have a strong summer sun in November and it’s warming up. Our summer sun is stronger than yours because Earth is closest to the Sun in Dec-Jan, but then we periodically get cold blasts from Antarctica.. Anyway, no evidence of global warming down here in NZ.

  3. Sorry guys you are all wrong. This is just pure anecdotal weather :)) no climate there I’m afraid.

  4. People are repeatedly told by government that we are experiencing warming, but their senses are telling them it ain’t so. One suspects that the people will eventually wise up to the ruse

  5. I listened to the weather report early this morning. More unseasonal snow was being forecast. The DJ expressed amazement he was still predicting snow.

  6. Meanwhile, the NZ Environment Court has declined permission for what would have been the southern hemisphere’s largest wind farm. Project Hayes would have delivered 260 MW of power (apparently) from 176 turbines spread over 92 square kilometres of upland grasslands. Opposition came from a grouping of artists, poets, a former All Black captain and other well to do residents of an admittedly very beautiful High Country environment. The reason given was that an ‘iconic’ landscape would have been irreversibly affected.
    The South Island is already wholly powered by renewable sources, mainly hydro, so most of the power generated would have gone directly or indirectly to the more populous North Island where the country’s main demand is located. Wind farms would make more sense here than in some places, because they could be run in tandem with the hydro resource.
    Meanwhile, there is active oil exploration going on in a number of offshore locations, with the possibility of some very big, but difficult to access, reserves. We are also sitting on enough lignite in the South to provide a thousand years of motor fuel, quite apart from huge coal reserves up and down the country.
    Just as well, because winter started at least a month early in May, which saw record low temperatures and very early snow. June and July were bitterly cold, but August was very pleasant. Then the second half of September and most of October were a return to winter. As Willy has said, things are warming up a bit now, but we still expect a pretty cool run through at least until February.

  7. Where’s El Nino in all this? To my untrained eye, Nino’s not strengthening enough to warm things up much…

  8. I just spent 2 weeks there in October and believe me it’s true. Even the Kiwis in the south were complaining about how cold it was.

  9. I’m confused. Isn’t it close to “summer” down there? At least late spring. Closer to the sun, with your end of the planet tipped toward it, surrounded by all that moderating water and you get snow? Just how tall are your mountains? We certainly have snow on our mountain.

  10. I have a brother in Dunedin on east coast of the South Island. He believes oh yeah being a born again AGW freak. Hope he froze his behind of. BTW I am in Australia our October was quite unseasonal as was September.

  11. Stephen Richards
    and others, have it all wrong. A series of weather events, such as those experienced by us New Zealanders (Kiwis) over the month of October 2009 constitutes a climate trend. When all of the individual months are added together from this year then the trend in this neck of the woods is towards cold. A record breaking cold May for N.Z. is part of that trend.
    As I have stated elsehwere in these blogs, N.Z. has experienced a double peak in the cold period that started in April and is slowly abating in the North Island now. The South Island is still copping their normal share of mid spring snow to moderate altitudes. The first high in in the cold figures was from May-July, then again from September to now.
    The SST anomalies for August showed a slight warming of the cold pool of water off the south east coast of N.Z. Since then however that pool has cooled again, and so has our weather/climate.
    From my own, incomplete records (some of my diaries are missing unfortunately) that I have made since 1980, the year 2009 is the record breaker for the number of frosts (actual ice on the ground) with 34 so far here on the Manawatu plains (altitude 15m a.s.l.). Just two years ago Dr Jim Renwick of NIWA stated that if global warming were to go as the worst predictions made out, then frosts on the central volcanic plateau of the North Island (average altitude of 700m) would drop from their current average of 55 per year to zero! Guess what Jim if I am getting 34 down here by the sea I’d hate to say what they are getting in the central plateau!
    2009 is also the record breaker for the number of snowfalls in the main two mountain ranges in my area, the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges (ave height 1,500m/5,000 ft), and on a weighting system this year has also seen the largest aggregate of snow dumped on those same mountains for the past 30 years.
    Stephen my friend, these individual weather events tally up to climate. The climate summary for this year around here so far is cold! Until that giant pool of cold water to our S.E. warms up, that is the way it is going to stay.
    Coops.

  12. Moderate to strong El Nino conditions tend to result in a stronger southwesterly wind pattern over the NZ South Island in particular. This brings more cold air up from the Southern Ocean. So generally more winter/spring snow and on the West Coast more rain as well. Given that the last 20 years or so have seen a succession of El Nino events it is not surprising therefore that most of the glaciers on the West side of the South Island have been increasing in ice-mass and advancing. Glaciers on the east side of the Southern Alps main divide tend to have a slower response time and many of these are still either unchanged or retreating.
    Long-term NZ temperature records from 1880 onward do not seem to record much warming. Its difficult to get a good grip on this because the long-term mean temp is made from a nationwide group of thermometers that are biased by changes in the mean latitude of the group as a whole (have a look at EM Smiths website “musings of the chiefio” for analysis of this issue.
    As we know its not climate unless the alarmists say it is.

  13. Cold October? Its done nothing for the born again warmers.
    They are saving the world after all. How can you take that away from their otherwise drab and uneventful lives?
    We will just have to give them some other perhaps equally ridiculous but less harmful cause

  14. Rob (12:32:25) :You’ve got to pity NZ Willy, shivering in “… the warmest August since records began 155 years ago, with a national average temperature of 10.2°C (1.7°C above the long-term August average” –
    Rob when its warm here we are grateful. We call it good weather. Do you call 10.2C blistering hot?
    If you are feeling bloody hot where you are (and where are you by the way?) why not move to the South Pole or summit Greenland.

  15. PS The average was 10.2 in August and 10.6 in Sept, when we had snow all over the place. Get a grip of reality by looking at the absolute temperatures.

  16. NZ Willy (10:57:49) :
    “Yep, we used up our “winter’s worth of firewood” in July after a frigid May-June, so I got another 2 cords which were, however, delivered wet. July proved to be balmy, August was cold & wet as was September. Some of that firewood never got dry enough to use. Now we have a strong summer sun in November and it’s warming up. Our summer sun is stronger than yours because Earth is closest to the Sun in Dec-Jan, but then we periodically get cold blasts from Antarctica.. Anyway, no evidence of global warming down here in NZ.”
    Unfortunately your Government thinks differently.

  17. Meanwhile Southern Australia is experiencing a record November heat wave.. the weather is going nuts.

  18. 4 billion,
    No, the weather isn’t ‘going nuts.’ It’s weather. And it’s in a specific location. And it’s well within its geological parameters. So please stop crying “Wolf!!”
    Remember that the conjecture which started this whole catastrophic anthropogenic global warming [CAGW] alarmism was the subsequently debunked belief that a change in a tiny trace gas would cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe.
    Recently the climate emerged from one of its cyclic warm spells, and now appears to be cooling. But CO2 has continued to rise [and about 97% of that rise has nothing to do with human activity]. The fact that the planet is cooling at the same time that CO2 is naturally rising blows the CO2=CAGW conjecture out of the water.
    So with the CO2 boogeyman gelded, does the alarmist crowd follow the lead of fat Albert, and admit that their culprit is not guilty after all?
    No.
    Because the “carbon” scare was never about science. It was always about money and control. So the goal posts are being moved again, and another reason to raise taxes by $Trillions will be ginned up by the CAGW scam artists.
    If the the AGW contingent was honest, they would at least wait until more evidence comes in, rather than trying to immediately pass their climate bill. But they know that additional empirical evidence will continue to falsify their increasingly ridiculous claim that if CO2 rises from 4 parts in 10,000 to 5 parts in 10,000, climate catastrophe will result.
    That’s what happens when political appointees with AGW marching orders masquerade as scientists. The foxes have gotten into the henhouse.

  19. Smokey (16:27:37) :
    4 billion,
    No, the weather isn’t ‘going nuts.’ It’s weather. And it’s in a specific location. And it’s well within its geological parameters. So please stop crying “Wolf!!”
    Changing weather patterns represent a changing climate.

  20. Smokey (17:06:15) :

    ‘Changing weather patterns represent a naturally changing climate.’
    Fixed.

    Changing Climate has drivers, it doesn’t occur in isolation. If not the increased Ocean/Land heat content, what is driving the changing climate?
    Changes to weather patterns currently seen have not occured in living memory, hence records being broken across the Globe. If this is ‘natural’ Climate change

  21. This is what The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition said back in 2007.
    NIWA data confirms that New Zealand is not warming.
    New Zealand may be no warmer in 2006 than it was in 1800. According to temperature records from NIWA, New Zealand has not experienced significant warming in the last 50 years.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC0701/S00003.htm

  22. It’s not too hot on the east coast of Australia either, currently about 21c. That’s quite a few degrees short of usual temperatures for this time of year. Talking of NZ, there is a cafe at the southern tip of the north island just south of Wellington, in a place called Island Bay. It’s called The Brass Monkey Cafe. Doesn’t take much to work out why, even if you’ve not been there.

  23. It’s not just cold in NZ – here in southeast Australia we had the coolest October in over 15 years, with one week early in the month being the coldest October week on record. This included one afternoon with the temperature struggling to get above 10 degrees celsius, a event only seen once every few years in July, our coldest month.

  24. “Mark.R (17:57:22) :
    This is what The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition said back in 2007.
    NIWA data confirms that New Zealand is not warming.
    New Zealand may be no warmer in 2006 than it was in 1800. According to temperature records from NIWA, New Zealand has not experienced significant warming in the last 50 years.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC0701/S00003.htm
    I recall reading an article on stuff.co.nz some years back now, 2002, maybe 2004 I don’t remember but basically a NZ “weather service” (Don’t recall the actual org name) stated that “weather” was no hotter nor cooler since about 1940. The article was pulled from stuff.co.nz within hours of it being published.
    I guess with a change of Govn’t in NZ there’s less pressure for the MSM to ignore cooling stories in favour of warming ones.

  25. 4 billion (17:41:08) : Changing Climate has drivers, it doesn’t occur in isolation.
    Well, first off, you have yet to demonstrate that any change of climate is happening. I see Sahara staying a desert climate. I see California still a Mediterranean climate. Brazil is still tropical… I’m sorry, but until you move a mountain range, shift a continent a few thousand km, or do something else similar the geological determiners of climate zones seem pretty well fixed to me. And yes, it is geography and geology that determine climate zones. Not gasses. Not “30 year average weather” that is at best a bad joke when used as a proxy for climate and at worst, well, I can say or I’ll be snippied…
    If not the increased Ocean/Land heat content, what is driving the changing climate?
    There is no changing climate.
    The “30 year average weather” is changing because there are 60 year, 180 year (roughly), and 1500 year cyclical processes in it. (See PDO, AMO, Bond Events and a few others…). Using “30 year average weather” as a proxy for climate is a very broken idea because you will periodically flip and flop between “ice age soon” and “global warming soon” every 30 or so years when the PDO flips and do even worse as the longer cycles flip and flop. And pray, just pray that the present cool flip is not Bond Even Zero ™…
    So given that you have a broken premise, the only answer I can give is “mu”.
    Changes to weather patterns currently seen have not occured in living memory,
    Actually, reminds me a whole lot of the 1960-1970 era (and I was still alive last time I checked 😉
    It was way hotter in the ’30s, per my Dad, who is not still alive (though some others his age still are and do remember). It was colder than now in the ’70s but we seem headed back that way. Might I suggest you just have a short memory?…
    hence records being broken across the Globe.
    And always will be. This is just a mathematical artifact of how short a time we have measured and how limited a geography we have measured. It has been “way hotter” and “way colder” in the recorded historical past. They just didn’t have thermometers all over the place then and did not record the events as “records” with numbers. But rather as frozen seas, or hot droughts. “Those who forget their history are doomed to think it’s different this time. -e.m.smith”…
    BTW, once you take some of the computer driven distortions out of the temperature history it’s rather flat… I can provide links to this if you like, but I suggest starting here:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/ghcn-the-global-analysis/

  26. 4 billion, You know very well that when it is very hot in Southern Australia that it is always caused by a particular position of the atmospheric highs and lows causing the wind to blow from the north bringing heat from the desert. It’s just a local phenomenon.

  27. Ron de Haan (15:51:24) :
    Well, the government is globally minded, so it’s not necessary for AGW to be observed in NZ specifically. NZers are not good at staking out individualistic positions, in spite of our reputation for resourcefullness. Get along, go along is the way. We have “There is no planet B” posters to keep us mindful of our presumed responsibilities.
    My own hobby horse is the integrity of the electrical grid. Ten years ago our biggest city Auckland went dark for two weeks because their electric board just assumed “she’ll be right”. Can’t say we’ve learned from that — the government has zero policies in place to maintain our grid. If we lost overseas parts we’d be down in no time.

  28. Is it back to the fifties with this neg PDO? It’s El Nino and we’re supposed to be a prime target for drought on the mid-coast of NSW. Winter was certainly warm and far too dry. (Didn’t some gloating boffin from the Aussie BOM jump on here to expound on that? Or was that some other site?) Now, however, in a cool spring, we’ve got floods up and down the coast. I’ve got acres of bamboo drinking it up.
    Expecting guidance on climate, or even weather, from official sources now is a bit like a Cambodian peasant waiting for economic guidance from the Khmer Rouge. You’ll get lots of it, but wish you’d got none.
    For these reasons and others, WUWT is now one of the most important places on the net.
    By the way, where my tax-funded BOM boffin now?

  29. In Canterbury, NZ it was the coldest in something like 120 years, with one of the heaviest snow falls in 50 years over the alps. The west coast of the south Island experianced more sun due to increased southerly weather patterns, which also resulted in the cooler and wetter weather over the rest of the country.
    For those interested, NIWA temperature data shows very little warming trend for the country with near zero in the south island, whilst longer term paleo-reconstructions show a strong MWP with declining temperatures since (see Wilson et. al.; 1979, or Williams et al for example) and only a small upturn in recent times, no hockey sticks here!

  30. This kiwi is pleased to see so many kiwi mates commenting on these pages. A name though that is missing from the debate these days is our own much loved Rodney Hide. (Yes, I know he has several other distractions.) But it was Rodney after all, who as a Minister of the Crown declared “global warming” to be a scam.
    As I have mentioned on my blog, was that statement just intended to remove a rostrum away from Winston Peters, or was it sincere ?
    http://mickysmuses.blogspot.com/

  31. “”” Shihad (11:44:45) :
    Who moved my Global Warming 🙂
    But seriously what is the ‘ for in Kiwi’s “””
    Don’t worry about the (‘), what you should be worried about is the (s).
    There is no (s) in the Maori Language; therefore there is no such word as Kiwis or even Kiwi’s.
    The plural of Kiwi, is Kiwi, same as the plural of ALL Maori words.

  32. WhEEee ! the bottom just fell out of the DMI polar temperature, as it dived down to 250 K after one of those crazy upticks last week.
    Can’t tell from JAXA whether we are back down to the 2007 ice line for this date; but all these delays in the temperature down elevator are sure slowing down the ice growth.
    Maybe it is all of those touring icebergs coming up to NZ from Antarctica that are cooling the place down.
    If you can tow one of those big suckers up here to California, we could sure use the water.

  33. E.M.Smith (04:55:04) :
    Well, first off, you have yet to demonstrate that any change of climate is happening.
    Expansion of Tropical zone is evidence of changing climate.
    http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20090607-19385.html
    There is no changing climate.
    The “30 year average weather” is changing because there are 60 year, 180 year (roughly), and 1500 year cyclical processes in it. (See PDO, AMO, Bond Events and a few others…).

    The unusual current weather events ie Snow occuring at unheard of times, heat waves at unheard of times ie Adelaide South Aus. is under a November heat wave, are ‘outside’ the cyclical fluctuations of the PDO and AMO, as the weather record extends back over a hundred years thus it is fair to say there is a extra effect driving these unusual weather patters.
    The PDO has been weakening since 1989 and warming has still been occuring, the AMO has been strengthening since 1979 and seems to have reached its highest point. http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2008/12/04/pacific-decadal-oscillation-pdo-index-back-into-the-negative/#more-764, and warming has still been occuring
    As the AMO drops off cooling may occur, maybe not, I tend to think not as bore hole temperature reconstruction for the last 400 years,http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/pollack.html shows that current temperatures are at their highest for the period, thus if current temperature is solely due to AMO and PDO fluctuations then current temperature should have been reached repeatedly in the last 400 years, as this time frame allows for a large number of cyclical fluctuations.
    As a Bond event involves cooling, don’t quite see how it is aplicable to current situation.
    It was way hotter in the ’30s, per my Dad, who is not still alive (though some others his age still are and do remember). It was colder than now in the ’70s but we seem headed back that way. Might I suggest you just have a short memory?…
    Globally it is hotter now than in the 1930’s.
    What is your evidence to say that cooling is beginning?

  34. Chris Schoneveld (07:00:24) :
    4 billion, You know very well that when it is very hot in Southern Australia that it is always caused by a particular position of the atmospheric highs and lows causing the wind to blow from the north bringing heat from the desert. It’s just a local phenomenon.
    Sure, but the fact we have not has such a heatwave for 130 years, since records began, means that these Highs and Lows have never aligned in such a way over the period. On its own, no big thing, but taken in the context of other unprecedented alignments ie Snow in NZ and US at unheard of times, one gets the picture of Global changes occuring in the Atmospheric system.

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