Sunny Stoke breaks record

It is Stoke's day in the sun with the announcement that April 2012 was the suburb's sunniest on record, while the wider region basked in temperatures almost a degree above average.

A startling 247.6 hours of bright sunshine was recorded in Stoke, narrowly eclipsing by two full hours the previous record set during April 2005, John Mathieson of the Nelson Weather Service said.

"April was generally very pleasant for Stoke and surrounds with dry, mild and sunny conditions experienced," he said.

The news is yet another accolade for the Nelson suburb, after it was confirmed as New Zealand's favourite place in 2010.

A series of slow-moving anticyclones dominated New Zealand's air space, blocking the usual westerly weather typical for the month.

Mr Mathieson said that as a consequence, rain was hard to find with just two days of light rainfall before a brief "heavy belt'" of rain last Thursday morning. The unexpected deluge of 59mm between 4am and 8am caused localised flooding in Nelson.

The monthly rainfall of 58.2mm was 72 per cent of the average 81.3mm, while sunshine hours were an "astounding'' 130 per cent of the average 190 hours.

"Apart from this sole moment of moderately dramatic weather, conditions on the whole were quite stable and pleasant. The April mean temperature was half a degree above the usual average at 13.6 degrees Celsius,'' said Mr Mathieson who analyses local weather on behalf of the Nelson City Council and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

Daytime temperatures were almost a full degree above average with a mean of 18.9 degrees Celsius, while night time temperatures were equal to the average at 8.3 degrees. "There were no frosts, hail or thunder episodes whatever during the month."

April Rainfalls:
Brooklyn, 90.7mm;  Mahana, 87.5mm; Gowan Valley, 82.5mm;  east Richmond, 60.4mm; eastern Stoke, 65.2mm; north Stoke, 58.2mm; Nelson city, 76.9mm.