Cen­tral tops dri­est in 2012 list

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Alexan­dra, Clyde and Cromwell topped the 2012 list for the dri­est towns in the coun­try, record­ing the low­est rain­fall for the year in New Zealand. Alexan­dra recorded the least amount of rain – 378 mil­lime­tres for the year, fol­lowed by Clyde with 417mm, and Cromwell with 455mm. The town over­took Clyde for the ti­tle of the dri­est place af­ter Clyde topped the list in 2011 with 395mm of rain­fall. The wettest places in New Zealand last year were the Cropp River on the West Coast which recorded 9630mm of rain for the year, the Doon River in Fiord­land with 7410mm, and Tuke River, also on the West Coast with 7175mm. Mt Taranaki had 336mm of rain fall in one day on July 15 – the high­est rain­fall recorded any­where in the coun­try. Un­like 2011, sev­eral Cen­tral Otago towns fea­tured in the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Water and At­mo­spheric Re­search an­nual cli­mate sum­mary for 2012. Mid­dle­march and Clyde recorded the sec­ond high­est tem­per­a­ture of 33.5 de­grees Cel­sius on Christ­mas day, be­hind Gis­borne which recorded 34.5C on De­cem­ber 19. Ran­furly recorded the third low­est tem­per­a­ture of -11.3C on July 2, be­hind -11.8C in Darfield and - 11.5C at Lake Pukaki on June 7. The Rock and Pil­lar range, near Nga­puna, recorded the sec­ond strong­est wind gust on Jan­uary 31 of 185kmh, be­hind 206kmh recorded at Cape Tur­na­gain on De­cem­ber 2. NIWA na­tional cli­mate cen­tre prin­ci­pal cli­mate sci­en­tist An­drew Tait said Cen­tral Otago towns made the list of the dri­est towns ev­ery year. It could be ‘‘very hot in the day and very cold at night’’, Mr Tait said. De­spite the av­er­age rain­fall across New Zealand de­creas­ing, parts of Cen­tral Otago recorded above nor­mal rain­fall – more than 120 per cent of their av­er­age, he said.

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