1895 winter

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RWood
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1895 winter

Unread post by RWood »

There's a reference in a book on the Mackenzie country to a large snowfall and intense cold, which wiped out about half of all the sheep being run there at the time. The thaw didn't arrive properly until September.

I see from the NIWA records that Akaroa had 1009mm (642 June, 367 July) of rain in June-July! No record from Ch'ch Gardens, but Hororata had 290mm in the 2 months, and Wellington 394 mm. It appears from the records that overall July was extremley cold, close to the lowest recorded, and August was also pretty cold. Hokitika and Napier were both relatively dry.

Does anyone have any other references to this period?
RWood
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by RWood »

Regarding Akaroa, perhaps Tich or someone might like to comment on the strong winter rainfall maximum there. If the you look at the ratios of the driest 3-month season to the wettest 3-month one, Akaroa sites drop as low as 40% (or the other way round, Jun-Aug averages 250% of the Dec-Feb rainfall). Other BP sites give similar numbers at or below 50%.This regime is not so strongly marked at the adjacent mainland areas, eg around Christchurch "12-2/6-8" is around 60% to 65%, and it drops away inland - about 77% at Darfield. In other parts of Canterbury quite different regimes apply, though in many of them the ratios are not very significant.

For Banks Peninsula I would guess that large dumps of rain in suitable southerly events are much more common in winter than in summer. But quite aside from that, the much-mentioned storm of Feb. 1936 helped Akaroa to a monthly total of 647mm, more than 10 times the average. :shock:
tich
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by tich »

I see from the NIWA records that Akaroa had 1009mm (642 June, 367 July) of rain in June-July!
Probably lots of cyclonic southerly storms and quite probably not all in liquid form. (even at sea-level) I've read of 1 heavy snowfall in Chch that winter, but I think the severity of the season was due to the frequency of very cold outbreaks and low-level snow rather than 1 major event.
Regarding Akaroa, perhaps Tich or someone might like to comment on the strong winter rainfall maximum there.
I don't know the records, but outer BP often gets much more rain than Chch in many southerly events. These tend to be more common in winter, along with active rain bearing troughs in general. The peninsula I don't think gets as much rain from summertime events (eg convective heating thunderstorms) than the plains. But heavy rain events have occurred in summer, eg in early January of both 2000 and 2002. (latter causing major flooding in Akaroa township)
RWood
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by RWood »

Thanks for those comments Tich. :) It's interesting to note - having looked at the records again - that periods of NE anomaly - with few or no major S/SE events - can be quite dry there, eg the exceptional year of 1971 when Akaroa had less than 60% of its average rainfall.
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by Willoughby »

1895 was apparently an ENSO neutral year according to CPC.. the year later an El Nino formed and the wheat crop in India failed and 5 million died of famine.
janewaystv
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by janewaystv »

From memory there was a "Summer" snowfall during 1895 for Chch City.
RWood
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by RWood »

Perhaps you have the wrong year? Jan, Feb and Dec that year were all warmer than average, especially December. W'gotn had its city record of 88F (31.1C) in February. :-k
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by tich »

[Perhaps you have the wrong year? Jan, Feb and Dec that year were all warmer than average, especially December. W'gotn had its city record of 88F (31.1C) in February.
Warm summer months can still have individual very cold snaps (eg January 1998), but a settling summer snowfall in Christchurch sounds like such an extreme event that some unusual weather pattern must be present. Maybe it was a heavy hailstorm reported as snow. If it was real snow, then it would've most likely been December - January and February sound very unlikely this side of the last ice age.
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by janewaystv »

Rwood & Tich :- Your comments got me puzzled so I've finally located the book of where I got this "memory" from, the name of the book is "Canterbury's Big Snow 1992" printed by Phillip King Booksellers & it's accompained by a photograph of CHCH City showing snow & trees in full bloom in 1895, however note that the paragraph below the photo is stated as " It can snow at the oddest times in CHCH. Judging by the trees this was a Summer snowfall in 1895" :-k :? , as you said RWood it was a warm summer & on the other hand Tich you said this can be exceptional. Maybe the year is wrong? or it could actually be a "Spring" snowfall? as the "judging a book by it's front cover" saying seems to be quite relevant in this case. :|
RWood
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by RWood »

It's easy for small inaccuracies to creep in. Unfortunately the old published tables in Gazettes and statistics summaries didn't give NZ descriptive weather summaries back then, so it's hard to check.
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by janewaystv »

One of us could try asking NIWA or Metservice?, I've tried "Google" and "Yahoo" to no avail :|, when did the "Gazettes" start coming out & stop publishing (or to put it more accurately - taken off the shelves) in NZ?, I recall that you said they're no longer available in libaries? As I was planning to go to Auckland Library to check them out when I go over there in 3 weeks time.
RWood
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Re: 1895 winter

Unread post by RWood »

The Gazettes will be there alright, a Govt pub. that relates to all departments. It was the annual "Meteorological Observations" (Met. Misc. Pub 109, 1928-1987) that seemed to have some years disappear from a Univ. library here, possibly also a few copies from the city library.
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