Focus on the Land
It’s that time of the year already
Thursday, August 30, 2012
AN early start to spring has been signalled by kowhai trees starting to flower.
The flowering of kowhai and the appearance of tui were among the signs of spring noted by Maori in the past, an indication of the weather warming up and the start of another growing season.
In this district, kowhai have been recorded as blooming by the end of the first week in September.
Daytime maximum temperatures have steadily risen over the month from a low of 12.4 degrees on August 1 to Monday’s 18.6 — the warmest day of the month.
However, grass minimums and soil temperatures are still down, and soil moisture levels have been in excess of field capacity for several months, and are only now starting to fall.
Sunny days in the past two weeks and more northwesterly winds are helping — Monday had over 10 hours of sunshine and the monthly total is coming up to the August average.
Niwa climate mapping shows the northern part of the district has been enjoying more sunshine than usual lately, but with cool night temperatures and wet soils the growing hours have not increased.
Gisborne has had over 114mm of rain so far this month — above the August average of 85 — and on top of five wet months that have made it one of the wettest winters locally since records started in 1937.
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