Spring-like autumn

June 1, 2011

Just over a year ago when I looked from the top of the hill above Enfield towards the Kakanuis, irrigated paddocks would have stood out like green ink on parchment.

When I was up the hill yesterday it was impossible to tell which farms were irrigated and which were not.

Niwa reports we’ve had the warmest May on record.

Data from climate agency Niwa shows the month was almost 2.5 degrees Celcius warmer than usual, with rainfall double normal levels.

The figures won’t be official until tomorrow morning, but principal climate scientists James Renwick said the provisional numbers were extraordinary.

“Two-point-five degrees doesn’t sound like much, but for the average over the whole month that’s huge,” Renwick said.

“Normally 0.5 of a degree is a record-breaker.”

The average monthly temperature had been 13.1C, a temperature normally expected for April, Renwick said.

The previous hottest May, recorded in 2007, had a mean temperature of 12.4C.

Rainfall totals were also extreme, especially in the eastern Bay of Plenty and Nelson regions.

We haven’t had the extreme weather other areas have suffered but mother nature has provided more than enough moisture.

Irrigation hasn’t been necessary and mild temperatures mean grass is still growing so it looks more like spring than autumn.


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