Winter cloud has silver lining
It might be hard to believe when the wind and rain are battering windows and bending trees again, but Nelson is inching ahead of its rival over the hill in Marlborough in the sunshine stakes.
However, Nelson still has a long way to go to catch Whakatane and Tekapo which, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, are way ahead in the race to be the sunniest place in New Zealand.
MetService figures show Nelson has had 1406.2 sunshine hours to date against an average of 1392, next to Blenheim's 1315.2 against an average of 1401 sunshine hours.
Nelson weather forecaster John Mathieson said following an "extremely wet and soggy June", July opened most favourably with 12 rain-free days. This was undone by solid rainfalls between July 13 and 15, netting 57.4mm.
Temperatures were elevated due to increased cloud with mean temperatures a full degree milder, he said. Nights were notably much milder from mid-month after a frosty run of nights.
"Thereafter, cloud was more dominant from nuisance lingering weather systems generally dominated by higher pressure," Mr Mathieson said.
Winds were lighter than average throughout the month due to anticyclones nearby.
There were no severe storms, but "irksome fog" locally on the evening and night of July 16.
The good news in all the dark clouds over the region right now is that they are bringing snow to higher altitudes. The Rainbow skifield currently has an average snow depth of 40cm, with 10cm of fresh snow over the last 24 hours.
All main trails are groomed and there is packed powder for skiers.
The forecast for the Rainbow Ski Area shows snow over the next few days with heaviest falls of up to 4cm an hour next Monday, and a fine day next Tuesday.
Nelson July rainfall: Brooklyn 226.8mm; Mahana 59.5mm; Gowan Valley 159.8mm; southeast Stoke 110.7mm; Stoke north 84.9mm; Nelson city at Fairfield Park 85.2mm.
- © Fairfax NZ News