Lusi a passing visitor in mild March

23:58, Apr 01 2014

The weather in March was pleasant, with 10 days of rain and just one bout of heavy rain with the passing of former tropical Cyclone Lusi on the 16th.

John Mathieson, of the Nelson Weather Service, said in his round-up of the month's weather that the system travelled at good pace from the area near the Solomon Islands and curved south westward off North Cape on the evening of the March 15.

Across the Nelson region the system brought a period of strong, blustery northeast winds by afternoon. Gusts reached to more than 70kmh in places and the mean wind speeds reached 52kmh at this time. Rainfall was heaviest between 5pm and 8pm, when 48mm was recorded in Stoke and the city, Mathieson said.

The wind and rain stopped abruptly at 8.40pm and a calm dry night followed.

There was no rain recorded over the final 13 days of March as pleasantly mild often sunny days with little wind rounded out the month, Mathieson said.

"Anticyclones generally dominated the month aside the tropical depression's appearance on the 16th, which assisted a good top up of local streams and reservoirs, saving the region from a growing shortage of water and rationing restrictions."

NELSON REGION MONTHLY CLIMATE SUMMARY: Rainfall figures: Brooklyn 146.5mm, Mahana 77mm, Nelson city 98.7mm, Stoke north 102.9mm, Stoke south 122.1mm, Gowan Valley 87.3mm. Rain total year to date 209.5mm [average 202.1] Heaviest rainfall March 16 87.1mm [48mm fell in a three hour period between 5pm and 8pm with the passage of a tropical origin low over Tasman region]. Number of rainfall days, 10 [no rain fell over the final 13 days of March]. Sunshine hours 235.7 [average 222.6] and only two days without sunshine entirely. Sun total year to date is 758 hours ahead of the average 725.2 hours. Highest air temperature 26.4 deg on March 20 Coldest air temperature 4.4 deg on March 4