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EXCEPTIONALLY DRY

FEBRUARY'S WEATHER

RAIN BADLY NEEDED

Although the recent spell of fine and warm weather has been decidedly pleasant, the fact remains that Wellington, in company with most other parts of the Dominion, batfiy needs rain. The year 1938 ended with a very wet December, but since then there has been very little rain. Wellington in January had a fall of only 89 points, and February was drier still with only 68 points. To date this year Wellington's rainfall has been] only 157 points, whereas the normnl average for January and February is 564 points. The Hutt Valley has been rather worse oft' than the city, for some of the rain which fell in the latter area did not extend to the former. The drying winds experienced earlier in the year have aggravated the drought conditions, pastures, lawns, and gardens all suffering. Meteorological conditions in Austra- ( lia at the present time, however, are of a type which indicates that in the near future relief from the prevailing dry conditions in New Zealand may be obtained. The rainfall at Kelburn last month totalled only 68 points, 275 points j being the average fall for February, j Rain.fell on seven days, but 34 points, i more than half the month's total, fell] on the first day of the month, and: since the 7th ionly 12 points have fallen. '' j It has been the driest February since j 1908 when the rainfall was only three points, establishing a record. The whole of the summer of 1908 was exceptionally dry, 138 points of rain falling in December, 64 points in, January, and 3 points in February, i Other dry Februarys have been 1890, 24 points; 1880, 13 points; and 1867, 22 points. The rainfall at Kelburn last month was 75 per cent, below the average, and at the Karori Reservoir it was 77 per cent, below. At the latter station 70 points of rain were recorded during the month. , As a variation from rain, there was a brief hail shower on the morning of the 7th. TEMPERATURES BELOW NORMAL. Wellington enjoyed an average amount of sunshine last month, with less wind than usual and with temperatures well below normal. Until the last few days the month was very cool. , The mean, maximum and minimum temperatures as recorded at Kelburn were 67.8 and 52.9 degrees respectively, as against normal February figures of 68.4 and 55 degrees respectively. The approximate mean temperature for the month, therefore, was 60.4 degrees, which is 1.3 degrees below the average. The highest maximum was 73.8 degrees on the 26th, and the lowest mini-! mum 44.4 degrees on the Bth. The' mean grass minimum temperature was 48.5 degrees, 49.3 degrees being the previous average. The lowest grass minimum, one of 39.2 degrees, was reached on the Bth, The mean temperature at 9 a.m. was 61.5 degrees, 62.2 degrees being the previous average for February. The relative humidity at that hour was 73 per. cent., 75 per cent, being the normal figure for February. SUNNY WITH LITTLE WIND. j The total number of hours of bright j sunshine was 208.3, just beating the February average of 208.1 Jtiours. This works out at 7.4 hours a day, or 50 per cent, of the possible. There was one day during the month when the sun did not shine at all.

Cloud at 9 a.m. averaged 6.7 tenths of the sky covered, 5.4 tenths being the normal figure for February.

The daily run of wind averaged only 188 miles, whereas 229 miles a day is the normal figure for February. Most of the wind was accounted for by two north-westerly gales, one during the night of the 14th and 15th, and the other on the 18th. The latter was particularly boisterous, producing a 24----hour run of 572 miles, disorganising air services, and doing local damage.

The barometrical readings at 9 a.m. averaged 29.960 inches, as against a previous February average of 29.972 inches. The highest reading was 30.287 inches on the 27th, and the lowest 29.625 inches on the 19th.

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EXCEPTIONALLY DRY Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 50, 1 March 1939

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