Notes on the Weather during 1874.
January.—Remarkably dry weather throughout, rainfall considerably below the average; usually a high atmospheric pressure and temperature; winds prevailed from W., and on the whole light; a severe storm, however, passed over the northern part of province of Canterbury on 11th, doing considerable damage; it was not severely felt at Christchurch. Earthquakes occurred on 21st at Tauranga, four shocks between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., rather strong; and on 23rd two shocks at 5 p.m.; also four smart shocks on 24th, between 6 and 8 a.m.; at Napier on the 29th, 9.15 p.m., smart. Brilliant meteor observed on 13th in north; aurora in south, on 18th.
February.—The temperature throughout is about the average for this month, but the rainfall is considerably less. With the exception of the severe S.E. and N.E. gale which occurred in Auckland on 7th and 8th, the winds have been moderate. Earthquakes reported on the 1st at Dunedin and Queenstown, slight; also on the 4th two distinct shocks at Dunedin, and on 2nd slight shocks at Riverton and Bluff, at night; on the 8th, rather a severe shock at Riverton; on 28th, at 3 am., a severe shock was felt at Lyttelton and Tauranga.
March.—The weather was wet throughout, at the same time very mild and temperate for the time of year, and no gales of any violence have occurred. Earthquakes were reported as having been felt at the following places:—At Wellington and Masterton, on 1st, at 12.10 p.m., slight, and at the former place on 17th, at 11.30 a.m., slight; at Wanganui, on 4th, at midnight, and on 9th, same time, sharp; at Tarawera, on 7th at 10.27 a.m., slight; at Taranaki, on 9th, at midnight, slight; Foxton and Patea, on 9th, at midnight, slight; also at Foxton, slight shock on night of 11th; at Christchurch, Lyttelton, and Akaroa, on 25th, at 12.3 a.m., a prolonged shake. Meteors observed at Dunedin on 13th, and at Queenstown on 21st.
April.—The most remarkable feature in the weather during this month was the unusually small rainfall at all the stations in the colony, except those on the west coast of the South Island, at Bealey, and in the extreme south, where the rain was excessive. At most of the stations the weather was exceedingly fine and pleasant; slight shock of earthquake reported at Mana Lighthouse on the 24th, at 11 p.m. Meteor observed at Wanganui on 1st, at 7.30 p.m.
May.—The weather generally was fine for the time of year, although some strong S.E. gales were felt in the north; the rainfall below the average, especially on the West Coast, the weather there being unusually fine; the temperature rather low. The barometer fell as low as 28.998 on 24th, on which date a severe hail, rain, and thunder storm occurred at many of the stations.
June.—The rainfall for the whole colony for this month was rather less than the average for previous years, but at most of the stations in the North Island the fall was in excess, while in the south, and on the west coast of South Island, it was considerably under the average. No very severe gales are reported except at Cape Campbell, but the weather in the south was severe, frost and snow often occurring. Eearthquakes were felt at Christchurch on 6th, at 8.45 a.m., slight, but smart at Lyttelton; also felt at Kowai Pass. At Rotorua several shakes were felt on 9th; at Riverton, Bluff, and Dunedin on 20th, about 6 a.m., sharp; at Wanganui on 23rd, at 11.30 p.m., slight.
July.—Except at some of the stations in the north, the rainfall was generally under the average for previous years, and with one or two exceptions the winds were moderate; the temperature, however, was considerably below the average throughout, and high atmospheric pressure prevailed; frequent snow and hail storms occurred, and frosts, causing the weather to be unusually severe. Earthquakes were reported at Opunaki on 4th, at 9.35 p.m., sharp, preceded by loud rumbling; on 28th at Wanganui, 4.37 p.m., sharp shock, direction N.E. to S.W., twenty seconds' duration; and at Opunaki on same date a slight shock at 4.35 p.m., direction N. to S. Aurora visible in south on 25th.
August.—The rainfall for this month was at most of the stations greatly in excess, and the weather on the whole unusually stormy and severe. Earthquakes reported at Napier, 3rd, at 4.16 a.m., and 4th, smart; also Wairoa, on 3rd, at 4.10 a.m., smart; at Akitio on 4th at 12.15 p.m., and 6th, at 5.10 p.m.; at Masterton, afternoon of 9th; Wellington, 5th at 7.20 a.m., and 15th at 2.15 a.m., slight. Wanganui, 18th, 2 p.m., slight. Meteors and auroras observed.
September.—Unusually heavy rainfall throughout the colony, in some districts the floods causing considerable damage. Westerly winds prevailed, and at times strong gales occurred. Low atmospheric pressure, and temperature below the average; in the south the weather was occasionally very severe. Slight earthquake reported at Taranaki on 14th.
October.—The weather was generally stormy during this month, principally from the westward. Except in the extreme south, the rainfall was considerably below the average. The temperature was lower than what is usual for the
time of year, and at some stations the cold was severely felt. Sudden fall in the barometer on 12th, followed by a westerly gale, otherwise the pressure was steady. Earthquakes reported at Auckland on 28th, very slight; and at Queenstown on 18th at 3.21 p.m., slight.
November.—The weather during this month was, on the whole, fine and seasonable; rainfall moderate, and at some stations very slight; temperature about the average; no gales of any note occurred. Earthquakes reported at Napier on the 14th, at 1.30 p.m., slight; at Cape Campbell on 27th, at 9.30 p.m., slight.
December.—Very fine bright summer weather throughout month; pleasant showers, but slight rainfall, and winds generally moderate. Earthquake reported at Christchurch on 1st; and at Opunaki on 15th, at 8 a.m., slight.