Niwa doubts new sun­shine recorder

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Blan­ton Smith

The sun has still been shin­ing brightly in New Ply­mouth, de­spite Niwa’s doubts over the ac­cu­racy of the mea­sur­ing de­vice.

With half of the year gone, New Ply­mouth is still sec­ond in the sun­shine ranks, but that could change.

Ear­lier in the year Niwa couldn’t be­lieve sun­shine hours had gone up 20 per cent in two years and sent the com­put­erised mea­sur­ing de­vice away to test its cal­i­bra­tion.

A new de­vice, the same as the one be­ing tested, was in­stalled in April and is col­lect­ing data in the mean­time.

Year to date data shows Whakatane is in the lead with 1368.7 sun­shine hours while New Ply­mouth is a clear sec­ond with 1339.1, Niwa spokesman Chris Bran­dolino said.

Bran­dolino said if the de­vice was found to be faulty, sun­shine hours dat­ing back to 2012 would be un­der re­view and data could be changed.

Be­fore 2012, sun­shine data was mea­sured man­u­ally in New Ply­mouth but an au­to­mated in­stru­ment was in­stalled at the air­port for 2012. That co­in­cided with the 20 per cent in­crease, which was well ahead of the 5 per cent above nor­mal recorded in Strat­ford and Tau­marunui.

In 2012 a record-break­ing 2433 sun­shine hours were clocked in New Ply­mouth and then in 2013 the city moved to num­ber two in the coun­try with 2668 hours. In com­par­i­son, 2176 hours of sun was man­u­ally recorded in 2010 and 2025 in 2011, be­fore the au­to­mated ma­chine came in to use. Niwa be­lieved the prob­lem is in the cal­i­bra­tion.

Rain clouds: A new sun­shine mea­sur­ing de­vice has been in­stalled at the New Ply­mouth air­port.

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