November rain could decide sunshine battle
Blenheim’s battle to be the sunniest town in New Zealand has turned tepid, after a duller November than the country’s most southerly city.
Invercargill threw off its thermals to record 234.5 hours of sunshine in November – 15.1 hours more than Blenheim.
The November blip, which saw Blenheim ranked a paltry 14th for the month, means the town is unlikely to beat nearest rival Richmond for the 2018 sunshine crown.
But Marlborough Mayor John Leggett said he wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet, although he was happy to see Invercargill get its time in the sun.
The sunniest place in the country for November was New Plymouth, with 254.4 hours of sunshine, followed by Appleby on 245.2 hours, while Richmond recorded 244.9 hours compared to Blenheim’s 219.4 hours.
Blenheim and Richmond were almost neck and neck until the November statistics came out.
Data from Plant and Food Research scientist Rob Agnew, in Blenheim, showed the town recorded a four-year low for sunshine hours in 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.’’