Cool Wellington

I was surprised to see reports this morning on Seemorerocks that New Zealand had experienced its warmest winter since records began, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

NIWA offers a figure of 1.14°C above average for the winter just ended.

The Institute’s chart indicates record taking began in 1909 at seven stations. Wellington is one of the seven but I don’t know how close it is geographically to Wellington International Airport (“my station”).

Last year, my Wellington failed to report almost four weeks of winter data to Weather Underground, so I had to use proxies for the missing days. My “normal” is calculated for ten years (2008-2017); the Institute’s from 1981 to 2010.

Wellington isn’t quite half the way down the two main islands but can be considered roughly average for temperature at the seven stations.

My 10 Year winter average: 10.1°, 2019: 11.5°, 2020: 11.0°C.

Putting my Wellington’s winters in their yearly context gives the following chart.

The weekly means are running averages from the beginning of the meteorological year. They confirm that Wellington has been much cooler this year than last. I’m not disputing NIWA’s figures. The other six NIWA stations have perhaps more than compensated to make this year’s NZ winter the warmest since 1909.

Even though Wellington International is much cooler this year than last, its IPCC Unit score shows it is well ahead of schedule to “reach Paris” by 2040. Adding 12 units of 0.0217°C (the per annum rise) to the IPCC’s projected 1.065°C at the end of this meteorological year gives the 1.33 degrees above Pre-Industrial in Week 39 shown above.

Read more about the Seven Station Temperature Series here.

Flower 20 · Ursinia (maybe)

Jewel of the Veldt at Scarborough Spa?

The World Upside Down

In the southern hemisphere, four of my five weather stations caught chills in Week 38, and extreme warmth in Koltsovo and Washington helped to push the north over 2 degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial. But the hemispheres cancelled each other out – the running average global Mean Temperature remains the same as last week at 1.22ºC above pre-industrial.


Wellington is the second “warmest” station in the southern hemisphere, peaking at 2.05 ºC above pre-industrial in January, but cooling overall, just, since then. Perhaps the upturn over the last three months will continue.


The last five weeks in Wellington suggest this is unlikely.


Twelve thousand miles separate Wellington from Durham Tees but, as far as temperature goes, their experience in Week 38 was similar. The “swing” was just a bit more extreme in Wellington.

The week, globally, was most notable for wildfires. The fires in Amazonia received the most attention in the lamestream media. The Indonesian and Siberian fires have barely been acknowledged in the UK and those in Angola and the Congo seem to have been ignored completely. Go here to see the present situation world-wide. There seems to be a connection between the hottest year on record and the number of wildfires – though human greed plays a significant role in the devastation. And in the suffering of all creatures great and small.

Southern Summer

Here are the results from five weather stations south of the equator –


There is no way of knowing if the TEN Stations together are representative of the Earth as a whole. They combine to give an AVERAGE temperature in the first quarter of the meteorological year of 1.22°C above the Pre-Industrial Baseline; a warming of 0.37°C.

Historical records show temperatures have typically fluctuated up or down by about 0.2°F per decade over the past 1,000 years. But trends over the past 40 years have been decidedly up, with warming approaching 0.4°F per decade. That’s still within historical bounds of the past — but just barely.

Scientific American

My station figures point to a rise much faster than historical, though it is probable that the next 9 months could see this quarter’s rate fall considerably. There is, perhaps, no need to be concerned, but the 0.85°C rise since Pre-Industrial does look a bit on the low side.

There is a dataset that offers an opportunity to compare the historical past with present experience. You can freely download the Central England Mean data from the UK Met Office website. I have an Excel spreadsheet with the annual thermometer-measured figures from 1659  to 2017. It, therefore, covers much of the Maunder Minimum period (1645 to 1710).

A Central England Baseline, averaging the AVERAGE (Mean) annual temperatures from 1659 to 1750, gives a figure of 9.02°C. Calculating the rise to 1960 and each decade thereafter (and finally to 2017) yields this graph.


Wow, that harsh winter of 1962/3 in England made its presence felt. The rise has reached 1.3°C above the Central England Baseline. Compare that with yesterday’s Northern Winter result of 1.27°C above the Global Pre-Industrial Baseline I have chosen.

The 52 years of the 65 years long Maunder Minimum covered by the Central England dataset averaged 8.8°C, only 0.22°C less than the Baseline figure (1659 to 1750). This suggests that Eddy, if he arrives, isn’t to be feared. Some have suggested that he will be no match for continuing human-induced warming.

Are things hotting up on the sub-continent?

The legacy media are not giving us much information about the conflict between India and Pakistan. After closing its airspace on Thursday, Pakistan seems to be allowing commercial flights over the country again but India’s north-west seems to be out of bounds still. In the screenshot below the highlighted jet is an Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner from London Heathrow heading for Delhi.


Across La Manche, the Yellow Vests have protested for the sixteenth Saturday straight. The UK regime doesn’t want us to know about it. All quiet on the BBC front.


This morning YouTube recommended a film about New Zealand genealogy, Skeletons in the Cupboard.   I watched a bit of it at morning break and was “drawn in”. Focusing upon the peoples who occupied New Zealand before the Maori arrived – yes, I understood the land to have been previously unpopulated too – a Pakeha grabbed my attention.

bestelsdonElsdon BEST (1856 – 1931) had earned the trust of a number of Maori elders and of dominion officials and, though seemingly untrained for the task, found himself employed as the colony’s first ethnologist. His story is compelling – at least I found it so. Find a brief biography at Te Ara. Elsdon was born in Tawa Flat, about 15 km north of central Wellington but he later owned a house in Tinakori Road, a short walk from where I lived for a while in the 1970s. Ah, if only I’d known then what I know now.

Naturally, I headed over to FamilySearch to see if he had a deserved place on the World Tree. Elsdon didn’t find a wife until he was 47 years old and although Mary Adelaide WYLIE was only thirty the couple didn’t have any children. His pedigree isn’t extensive but after an hour or so of research this afternoon I think I can add a few bits of information – somewhat in the manner of putting small stones on a Jewish grave.

Skeletons in the Cupboard Episode 1

Best of Both Worlds: The Story of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

Today’s Image

Serendipity strikes again. Elsdon fell off his horse, broke his leg and was “rescued” by Mary Adelaide Wylie. A year ago I photographed the hoofprints on Muston Sands and as I reached the end of Royal Parade on my walk this morning…