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Old 09-07-2019, 02:21 PM
 
90 posts, read 17,829 times
Reputation: 73

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I've been looking at New Zealand's climate data for a while, and some things just don't add up. In particular...snowfall.

First of all, there's a lack of annual snowfall data in New Zealand, even for supposedly snowy places like Queenstown, Wanaka, or Alexandra. How many inches of snow do these places get exactly? Your guess is as good as mine.

Secondly, it seems that winters in New Zealand are a lot warmer than climate data would suggest. The climate data on Wikipedia shows that Wanaka, Queenstown, and Alexandra all have average lows well below freezing in the winter. Yet on the forecasts on weather.com, it doesn't get below freezing that often at all. And snow is only very rarely in the forecast.

Even more mysterious, when I look at past weather data on weather.com, there's almost no days of significant snowfall for any settlement in New Zealand.

The climate data on Wikipedia and the weather forecasts just don't seem to match up. The climate data, based on the precip and temperatures, suggests that a moderate amount of snow falls in the winter. Yet there's almost no record of snowfall in the forecasts and past weather data.

What is the winter really like in these inland South Island towns? Has there been a warming trend or a "snowfall drought" recently? Where can I find reliable snowfall data?

Perhaps a local resident of New Zealand would know firsthand about the weather there.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Wellington and North of South
5,117 posts, read 6,732,705 times
Reputation: 2523
Quote:
Originally Posted by micahdebrink View Post
I've been looking at New Zealand's climate data for a while, and some things just don't add up. In particular...snowfall.

First of all, there's a lack of annual snowfall data in New Zealand, even for supposedly snowy places like Queenstown, Wanaka, or Alexandra. How many inches of snow do these places get exactly? Your guess is as good as mine.

Secondly, it seems that winters in New Zealand are a lot warmer than climate data would suggest. The climate data on Wikipedia shows that Wanaka, Queenstown, and Alexandra all have average lows well below freezing in the winter. Yet on the forecasts on weather.com, it doesn't get below freezing that often at all. And snow is only very rarely in the forecast.

Even more mysterious, when I look at past weather data on weather.com, there's almost no days of significant snowfall for any settlement in New Zealand.

The climate data on Wikipedia and the weather forecasts just don't seem to match up. The climate data, based on the precip and temperatures, suggests that a moderate amount of snow falls in the winter. Yet there's almost no record of snowfall in the forecasts and past weather data.

What is the winter really like in these inland South Island towns? Has there been a warming trend or a "snowfall drought" recently? Where can I find reliable snowfall data?

Perhaps a local resident of New Zealand would know firsthand about the weather there.
Start here, and don't trust Wikipedia. National and regional descriptions.

https://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/c...-climatologies

For monthly and seasonal reports:

https://www.niwa.co.nz/climate/monthly
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:45 PM
 
90 posts, read 17,829 times
Reputation: 73
Cool, thanks!
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:15 AM
SFX
 
Location: Tennessee
798 posts, read 356,827 times
Reputation: 419
Ski and snowboarding websites have actual snow data, including historic data. And web cams. And unlike Wikipedia, they have to match a report with reality.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:43 AM
SFX
 
Location: Tennessee
798 posts, read 356,827 times
Reputation: 419
Currently a lot of ski areas are reporting early/late snow, and early openings, and late closings. None of which you will hear about except from the resorts and skiers/snowboarders
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Old Yesterday, 10:30 AM
 
Location: The South
140 posts, read 26,115 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWood View Post
Start here, and don't trust Wikipedia. National and regional descriptions.

https://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/c...-climatologies

For monthly and seasonal reports:

https://www.niwa.co.nz/climate/monthly
Are there any ski resorts/areas in NZ?
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Old Yesterday, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Top of the South, NZ
17,406 posts, read 14,039,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taipan001 View Post
Are there any ski resorts/areas in NZ?
There certainly is - had 30 cm of fresh powder yesterday, just an 80 minute drive away.
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Old Yesterday, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
149 posts, read 30,350 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe90 View Post
There certainly is - had 30 cm of fresh powder yesterday, just an 80 minute drive away.
Indeed. As rare as continental climates are in the Southern Hemisphere, Subarctic (or more accurately in this case, Subantarctic) climates do exist in some high mountains of both Australia and New Zealand. However, the only Austral place near sea level with a continental climate is Rio Grande, Argentina: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A...erra_del_Fuego
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Old Yesterday, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Top of the South, NZ
17,406 posts, read 14,039,338 times
Reputation: 5713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Belt-lover L.A.M. View Post
Indeed. As rare as continental climates are in the Southern Hemisphere, Subarctic (or more accurately in this case, Subantarctic) climates do exist in some high mountains of both Australia and New Zealand. However, the only Austral place near sea level with a continental climate is Rio Grande, Argentina: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A...erra_del_Fuego
Depends what you consider continental - an 11C annual temperature range, is setting the bar pretty low.
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Old Yesterday, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
149 posts, read 30,350 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe90 View Post
Depends what you consider continental - an 11C annual temperature range, is setting the bar pretty low.
I consider a place with a mean in the coldest month below freezing (Southern Hemisphere) or below 27F (Northern Hemisphere) to be "continental". Thus, basically anywhere with persistent snow in winter (which is what this thread is about). Even a few tundras lack this, notably in the subantarctic, in the Faroe Islands and in Iceland.

However, just because a place isn't continental doesn't mean I'd consider it a pleasant climate; USDA Zone below 7a in hot-summer climates, 8a in mild- or cool-summer climates or 9a in arid climates are all huge turn-offs for me, as are hurricane-prone areas, average highs below 52F for more than two months, volcanic areas, non-major-city areas and places with a subpolar climate (even if it meets all other requirements and is oceanic) of any sort.

Still, continentality is the biggest turn-off for me, as well as the only absolute one other than USDA Zone below 7a and hurricanes.

EDIT: Yeah, 11.1C is quite small! Many major cities in the U.S. subtropics have more than that, and Dallas, Huntsville, Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Nashville (all notable subtropical inland U.S. cities) even have about double that!

Last edited by Sun Belt-lover L.A.M.; Yesterday at 07:19 PM..
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