In November the soil continues warming and gardeners who planted their summer veggie plots with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers will notice that these start to move. Summer annuals such as petunias make good progress. This November 2011 has been close to average allowing growth to progress well.
The mean temperature for Auckland was up 1°C on October averaging 16 to 16.5°C, close to normal. The coldest night was 9°C, with the warmest day about 24°C.
More south westerly winds prevailed than usual. They typically produce cloudy showery weather in Auckland. Showers are much more frequent in the wetter parts of the region, especially in the hilly areas of the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges, where rainfall is about double that of downtown Auckland. However the showers are often light, and do not amount to much rainfall, which was the case in November. But it means it’s been another month when lawnmowers would have been busy.
Rainfall was well down for the month with Auckland Airport recording 50mm, 26mm less than the usual quota, so soils have started drying out for the summer. At this time of year about 3 mm per day is lost through evapotranspiration to the air, so the soil would have lost some moisture storage – not yet dry enough where watering is required, but enough to start checking growth slightly. In November with the evapotranspiration loss of about 90mm, and the rainfall gain of 50mm means that soils would have been depleted by 40mm.
The cloudiness of October continued with 181 hours of bright sunshine in November – the norm is 200 hours. South westerlies usually are dry and cloudy which was the character of November. This has been caused by more anticyclones located in the Tasman Sea and lows to the east of New Zealand projecting winds from the south west over the Auckland region.
And what are the prospects for December? It appears that the La Niña easterlies and north easterlies are settling in which promises warmer but possibly wetter than normal conditions. Mean temperatures average around 18°C with 22°C by day and 14°C by night. A moderate La Niña continues in the Pacific, and this is expected to last out the summer season.
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