Rain spoils battle over sun
Data from Plant and Food Research scientist Rob Agnew, in Blenheim, showed the town recorded a four-year low for sunshine hours during November.
Totals for the year so far had Richmond in the lead with 2317.9 hours, followed by Blenheim with 2289.6 hours. Whakatane was third with 2273.3 hours.
It was especially disappointing for Blenheim after a sunny October, where it reduced Richmond’s lead to 2.2 hours.
‘‘With Richmond having recorded 25.5 hours more sunshine than Blenheim in November, the gap has widened markedly,’’ Agnew said.
‘‘It is going to be very difficult for Blenheim to overtake Richmond’s total in December.
‘‘But safe to say Blenheim will be well ahead of Invercargill for the year.’’
Leggett said the November rain, the most since July, helped gardeners but was a concern for grape growers.
‘‘This summer has been wet in many parts of the country and Marlborough has been no exception.
‘‘Our gardeners and farmers are pretty happy, but we need the sun to kick in soon to ripen those grapes and get Blenheim back in its rightful place as the sunshine capital of New Zealand.’’
In its outlook for the month, Metservice said high pressure and cooler southerlies would prevail next week.
Most regions were expected to have relatively dry conditions, except eastern regions of the North Island and possibly also the Marlborough coast.