Porirua now hot­ter and more sunny

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

Tem­per­a­tures in Porirua have got a lot warmer in re­cent months – and it’s not be­cause of climate change.

The city has a new au­to­matic weather sta­tion, af­ter re­ly­ing since 1984 on read­ings from Mana Is­land, three kilo­me­tres out into the Tas­man Sea.

The new sta­tion at Els­don opened in April, and June data shows Porirua’s av­er­age max­i­mum day­time tem­per­a­tures were 2 de­grees warmer than on Mana Is­land.

It was wel­come news to Porirua mayor Mike Tana. ‘‘We al­ways knew Porirua was warmer and sun­nier than we’ve been see­ing in weather re­ports, but now it’s of­fi­cial,’’ he said.

As well as be­ing warmer dur­ing the day, the anal­y­sis showed Porirua was 3.6C colder in the morn­ings than Mana, show­ing the is­land had a very dif­fer­ent climate over­all be­cause of its mar­itime lo­ca­tion.

The Porirua City Coun­cil col­lab­o­rated with the MetSer­vice, Niwa, the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil, Welling­ton Wa­ter and the Welling­ton Ru­ral Fire Au­thor­ity to de­velop the sta­tion, next to the Els­don Park hockey turf.

Thanks to its ur­ban lo­ca­tion, data anal­y­sers have ac­cess to more ac­cu­rately recorded tem­per­a­tures, wind speed and di­rec­tion, air and soil tem­per­a­ture, hu­mid­ity, rain­fall and warmth.

It will be op­er­ated and main­tained by the MetSer­vice.

Tana said: ‘‘We worked to­gether well and not only do we get to brag about our weather, but it has im­por­tant prac­ti­cal use.

‘‘As well as hav­ing Porirua ac­cu­rately re­flected in MetSer­vice re­ports, this lets Niwa track our long-term climate data, the Ru­ral Fire Au­thor­ity can ac­cu­rately up­date fire rat­ings, and we have bet­ter in­for­ma­tion for our stormwa­ter man­age­ment and har­bour restora­tion projects.’’

Porirua col­leges will also be able to use and study the data.

Niwa prin­ci­pal tech­ni­cian An­drew Harper said that, his­tor­i­cally, find­ing the per­fect lo­ca­tion to record cli­mates had been ’’no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult’’.

But the cur­rent site al­lowed the mul­ti­ple or­gan­i­sa­tions to use the au­to­mated weather sta­tion’s data for their own pur­poses, he said.

‘‘The coun­cil use it for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses, as well as for flood fore­cast­ing pur­poses, along with Welling­ton Wa­ter. Whereas the fire au­thor­ity will use that data to de­ter­mine fire dan­ger.

‘‘The new weather sta­tion char­ac­terises the climate of Porirua bet­ter, whereas the is­land’s sta­tion was more re­flec­tive of its mar­itime lo­ca­tion,’’ Harper said.

PHO­TOS: KRIS COPPIETERS, JAMES PAUL

A weather sta­tion on Mana Is­land had been record­ing Porirua’s weather since 1984. Left, the new weather sta­tion at Els­don Park.

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