Press Release March 2018

Weather Data summary for March 2018 for the Blenheim Meteorological station located at Grovetown Park.

Table 1: Weekly temperatures, rainfall and sunshine during March 2018

  Mean Max

(°C)

Mean Min

(°C)

Mean

(°C)

Rainfall

(mm)

Sunshine

(hours)

1st – 7th 24.2     (+2.7) 14.9      (+4.4) 19.6    (+3.6) 4.8 43.3
8th – 14th 21.5        (=) 9.3        (-1.2) 15.4    (-0.6) 0.0 63.2
15th – 21st 23.7     (+2.2) 11.7      (+1.2) 17.7    (+1.7) 18.4 64.8
22nd – 28th 20.1     (-1.4) 12.0      (+1.5) 16.1    (+0.1) 30.4 38.1
29th – 31st 21.9     (+0.4) 10.0      (-0.5) 16.0       (=) 0.0 29.0
           
1 – 31 March 22.3    (+0.8°C ) 11.8   (+1.3°C) 17.1  (+1.1°C) 53.6   136% 238.4     104%
LTA 1986-2017 21.5 10.5 16.0 39.4 230.3

Sunshine

238.4 hours sunshine for March is 104% of the long term average for March of 230.3 hours (1986-2017).

March 2017 recorded 200.7 hours sunshine.

March 2016 recorded 241.9 hours sunshine.

March 2015 recorded 244.7 hours sunshine.

Total sunshine for the first three months of 2018 is 708.4 hours; 98% of the long-term average (1930-2017) of 720.3 hours.

Sunniest towns in New Zealand to the end of March 2018

The rankings at the end of March are:

Blenheim       – 708.4 hours

Richmond     – 708.3 hours

Napier           – 696.5 hours

Waipara         – 680.6 hours

The top of the South battle for sunshine supremacy is once again in full swing at the end of March 2018 with Blenheim leading Richmond by a massive 0.1 hours (6 minutes) sunshine.

Rainfall

53.6 mm rain is 136% of the long term average for March of 39.4 mm (1986-2017).

March 2017 rainfall was 47.0 mm.

March 2016 rainfall was 46.8 mm.

March 2015 rainfall was 37.4 mm.

January 2018 = 80.4 mm, February 2018 = 181.4 mm, March 2018 = 53.6 mm.

Total rain for the first three months of 2018 is 315.4 mm, or 245% of the long-term average of 128.8 mm. This is the highest January to March rainfall total on record for Blenheim for the 89 years 1930 to 2018. The second highest January to March total of 303.7 mm was recorded in 1995, Blenheim’s wettest calendar year on record.

The January to March 2018 rainfall total of 315.4 mm was 179.4 mm greater than the 136.0 mm recorded for January to March 2017; i.e. 232%.

Soil moisture

Average shallow soil moisture (5-35 cm depth) at the Grovetown Park weather station was 32.5% during March 2018. Average for March (2002-2017) is 19.5%.  For the first three months of 2018 the shallow soil moisture has been much higher than average.

Air Temperature

Mean temperature of 17.1°C was 1.1°C above the long-term average temperature for March of 16.0°C (1986-2017).

March 2017 mean temperature was 16.3°C.

March 2016 mean temperature was 17.0°C.

 The average daily maximum in March 2018 was 22.3°C (0.8°C below average).

The average daily minimum in March 2018 was 11.8°C (1.3°C above average).

 Coldest and Hottest days during March

No frosts were recorded during March 2018. The coldest minimum temperatures were recorded on the morning of 11 March, with an air minimum of 6.4°C and a grass minimum of 2.4°C.

The hottest day was 3 March with a maximum temperature of 28.0°C, compared to 29.3°C on 1 March 2017.

 Wind Run

March 2018 recorded average daily wind run of 201.6 km compared to the long-term average of 246.3 km (1996-2017); 82% of the long-term average.  This is the eighth year in a row that March has recorded less than average wind-run.

Rob Agnew

Plant & Food Research / Marlborough Research Centre

 

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