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Volume 2, 1869
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Table IV.—Earthquakes in New Zealand, in 1869, as registered at the Government Meteorological Stations.
Station. January. February. March. April. May. June. July. August. September. October. November December. Total.
Auckland 0
Napier 11,27 2
Taranaki 10 22, 23* 4, 10, 15 20 16* 8
Wellington 9 11 1*, 5 4 4*, 26 30 8
Nelson 11* 13* 24* 4* 28* 5
Christchurch 11 5*, 6 23* 3 5
Hokitika 11 24 2
Dunedin. 24* 1
Southland 14* 10 24* 11* 25* 5

The figures denote the days of the month on which one or more shocks were felt. Those with an asterisk affixed were described as smart shocks. The remainder were very slight. The only earthquake which did serious injury, occurred at Christchurch on the 5th June.

Notes on the Weather during 1869.

January.—Several heavy gales and thunderstorms were experienced generally throughout the colony during this month, especially in the North Island. At Taranaki, the lightning caused considerable damage on the 14th; and on the 31st, half an inch of rain fell in a quarter of an hour. Rainfall, on the whole, was lower than usual. At Dunedin, 950 miles of wind passed the station on the 3rd.

February.—Several storms of great violence occurred at most of the stations in the North Island during this month, particularly at Auckland; and the rainfall in every case was considerably greater than the average for previous years. The rainfall in Auckland on the 11th—6:329 inches,—and the force of the wind on the 27th—1,229 miles,—greatly exceed any previous daily records in that province. The weather in the South was, on the whole, fine, with slight rain.

March.—Weather remarkably fine and pleasant at all the stations in the North Island; rainfall considerably below the average for previous years. On the west coast of South Island, and south of Christchurch, the weather was not so fine; several severe storms from S. W. and N. W. occurred, accompanied with hail, thunder, and heavy rain. On the 25th, 989 miles of wind were registered at Auckland; and on the 27th, 860 miles at Wellington.

April.—Weather tolerably fine throughout the North Island, except at Taranaki and Wellington, where the rainfall was excessive. In the South Island wet weather prevailed. In Southland the month was characterized by a dull, cloudy, and very moist atmosphere, with light drizzling rain on twenty days. At the mountain station at Bealey, snow fell on the 15th, 16th, and 27th.

May.—Strong W. and S. W. winds prevailed at almost all the stations from the 3rd to about the 7th days, accompanied in many cases with rain, thunder, and hail; the weather was especially severe at Southland, where there was also a heavy snow storm on the 7th. Rainfall at all the stations unusually heavy. In Auckland, 889 miles of wind on the 23rd.

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June.—Weather on the whole fine, but with several severe storms; average force of wind low; and total rainfall for the colony rather lower than same period in previous years. In Auckland, on the 28th, very severe gale, described as a perfect hurricane, from N. and N. E.; much damage done in harbour; 1, 170 miles of wind passed by in twenty-four hours. At Wellington, ·500 inch of rain fell in about fifteen minutes, on the 30th.

July.—The weather throughout the colony for this month was much finer than is usually the case at this season of the year, but particularly so in the South Island. The rainfall was in almost every case far below the average, and, with the exception of a few stormy days in the North, the winds were moderate. Snow fell in Christchurch on the 8th and 24th; and in Wellington, sleet fell on the 8th. At Bealey (altitude above sea level, 2, 104 feet) there were five days of snow; and on one night the minimum temperature on grass fell to 2·5°.

August.—Universally fine steady weather during this month on the East and South of the colony. On the West Coast, and in the North, stormy, with prevailing westerly winds. The average rainfall for the whole colony was that usual for the month; but the distribution was very unequal, being excessive on the West Coast.

September.—Prevalent westerly winds. The only marked change, which appears to have been generally felt, was from fine to broken weather on the 21st (full moon); the fine weather having commenced at almost every station with new moon on the 7th.

October.—Month characterized by a heavy gale from S. E. of unusual severity and persistence, accompanied by electrical disturbances, low temperature, and heavy rainfall, especially in the Wellington district. At the latter station 3·200 inches of rain fell on the 29th, in twenty-four hours. The alternation of climate was very great, without any very extreme fluctuation in the atmospheric pressure.

November.—The weather for this month was unusually fine and pleasant throughout New Zealand, the rainfall being considerably below the average, and the winds generally moderate, except on the West Coast of Middle Island, where strong S. W. winds prevailed.

December.—The most remarkable feature in the weather for this month was the occurrence of severe electrical storms, throughout almost the whole of the colony, towards the middle of the month, with vivid and dangerous lightning. There was also heavy rain at many of the stations at the same period, but no severe gales were reported.

James Hector,

Inspector of Meteorological Stations.