Novem­ber rain could de­cide sun­shine bat­tle

Nelson Mail - - Today News -

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.’’

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