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Volume 11, 1878

The Climate of New Zealand.

Meteorological Statistics.

The following Tables, etc., are published in anticipation of the Report of the Inspector of Meteorological Stations for 1878.

Table I.—Temperature of the Air, in shade, recorded at the Chief Towns in the North and South Islands of New Zealand, for the year 1878.

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Place. Mean Annual Temp. Mean Temp. for (Spring) Sept., Oct., Nov. Mean Temp. for (Summer) Dec., Jan., Feb. Mean Temp. for (Autumn) Mar., Apl., May. Mean Temp. for (Winter) June, July, Aug. Mean daily range of Temp. for year. Extreme range of Temp. for year.
North Island. Degs. Degrees. Degrees. Degrees. Degrees. Degrees. Degrees.
Mongonui 61.5 61.0 68.1 62.3 54.7 17.8 53.0
Auckland 58.8 57.9 65.2 60.7 51.6 13.8 46.8
Taranaki 56.5 55.7 62.5 57.9 50.0 15.4 50.0
Napier 59.7 61.0 65.9 60.6 51.4 15.1 54.0
Wanganui 55.5 55.8 62.4 55.4 48.3 20.4 61.0
Wellington 55.1 54.7 60.9 56.9 47.8 13.0 48.2
Means, etc., for North Island 57.8 57.6 64.1 58.9 50.6 15.9 61.0
South Island
Nelson 54.2 55.8 60.8 54.7 45.7 21.9 52.0
Cape Campbell 56.3 56.4 61.5 57.8 49.3 10.4 41.8
Christchurch 52.8 54.8 59.6 53.6 43.2 19.4 66.5
Hokitika 51.6 51.6 57.9 52.9 44.2 11.9 43.2
Dunedin 49.9 51.9 54.4 51.0 41.9 14.4 60.0
Queenstown 50.1* 50.2 57.7 55.2 39.0 16.7 62.4
Southland 48.9 51.0 54.5 49.6 40.6 17.3 60.0
Means, etc., for South Island 51.9 53.1 58.0 53.5 43.4 16.0 66.5
Means, etc., for North and South Islands 54.8 55.3 61.0 56.2 47.0 15.9 66.5

[Footnote] * For 11 months only.

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Table II.—Barometrical Observations.—Rainfall, etc., recorded for the year 1878.
Place. Mean Barometer reading for year. Range of Barometer for year. Mean Elastic Force of Vapour for year. Mean Degree of Moisture for year. Total Rainfall. Mean Amount of Cloud.
North Island Inches. Inches. Inches. Sat.==100. Inches. 0 to 10.
Mongonui 29-961 1.317 .419 76 40.140 6.0
Auckland 29.995 1.291 .389 78 37.160 6.4
Taranaki 29.952 1.430 .386 79 56.730 6.9
Napier 29.890 1.587 .354 69 21.100 2.6
Wanganui 30.002 1.500 .310 69 40.920 5.3
Wellington 29.873 1.775 .351 80 54.602 5.4
Means for North Island 29.945 1.483 .368 75 41.775 5.4
South Island
Nelson 29.826 1.357 .316 74 51.900 5.1
Cape Campbell 29.964 1.630 .344 75 16.480 5.7
Christchurch 29.804 1.919 .280 69 13.540 5.7
Hokitika 29.876 1.382 .337 86 154.446 7.1
Dunedin 29.680 1.685 .262 72 45.235 6.0
Queenstown 29.713 1.760 .243 66 60.020 6.1
Southland 29.726 1.960 .293 83 54.020 7.0
Means for South Island 29.798 1.670 .296 75 56.520 6.1
Means for North & South Islands 29.871 1.576 .332 75 49.147 5.7

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Table III.—Wind for 1878.—Force and Direction.
Place. Average Daily Velocity in Miles. Number of Days it blew from each point.
N. N.E. E. S.E. S. S.W. W. N.W. Calm*
North Island.
Mongonui 153 22 35 28 17 32 89 56 63 23
Auckland 299 29 34 18 12 34 113 84 41 0
Taranaki 239 47 28 18 50 6 130 47 39 0
Napier 237 20 77 14 13 56 63 60 53 9
Wanganui 263 3 8 0 27 1 53 70 147 56
Wellington 243 1 40 2 84 1 6 5 224 2
South Island
Nelson 170 60 65 8 37 9 122 3 61 0
Cape Campbell 479 8 2 1 47 46 8 52 167 34
Christchurch 167 3 117 33 6 4 138 18 46 0
Bealey 232 103 23 9 23 15 26 26 90 50
Hokitika 17 32 67 7 7 145 41 49 0
Dunedin 170 8 65 15 6 13 113 28 8 109
Queenstown 5 15 2 8 3 59 39 156 78
Southland 244 23 41 23 19 6 90 123 40 0

[Footnote] * These returns refer to the particular time of observation, and not to the whole twenty-four hours, and only show that no direction was recorded for the wind on that number of days.

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Table IV.—Bealey (Interior of Canterbury), at 2,104 feet above the sea. 1878.
Mean Annual Temp. Mean Daily Range of Temp. for year. Extreme Range of Temp. for year. Mean Barometer reading for year. Range of Barometer for year. Mean Elastic Force of Vapour for year. Mean Degree of Moisture for year. Total Rainfall. Mean Amount of Cloud.
Degs. Degs. Degs. Inches. Inches. Inches. Sat.=100. Inches. 0–10.
45.7 13.8 78.0 29.621* 1.849 .203 64 155.891 5.9

Table V.—Earthquakes reported in New Zealand during 1878.

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Place. January. February. March. April. May. June. July. August. September. October. November. December. Total.
Taranaki 8 1
Napier 5* 23 2
23 2
Wanganui 20*
4 23* 21 8* 21 6
Foxton 5* 1
Greytown 5* 1
Wellington 5 6,7
28 23 20 8 14 21* 12 10
Cape Campbell 21*
11* 3* 14* 27 5
Blenheim 11* 1
Kaikoura 14* 1
Nelson 24 14* 21* 3
Westport 14* 1
Hokitika 11* 29 21 3
Lyttelton 14* 1
Christchurch 14 21 2
Rangiora 30 1
Lawrence 24* 1
Arrow 24* 1
Queenstown 23 8 9
15 12 25* 24* 21 14* 27 9
Wallace-town 25* 1

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; those with a dagger as severe shocks. The remainder were only slight tremours, and no doubt escaped record at most station, there being no instrumental means employed for their detection. This table is therefore not reliable so far as indicating the geographical distribution of the shocks.

[Footnote] * Reduced to sea level.

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Table VI.—Comparative Abstract for 1878 and previous Years.

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Barometer. Temperature from Self-registering Instruments, read in Morning for 24 hours previously. Computed From Observations. Rain. Wind. Cloud.
Stations. Mean reading. Extreme Range. Mean Temp. in Shade. Mean Daily Range of Temp. Extreme Range of Temp. Max. Temp. in Sun's Rays. Min. Temp. on Grass Mean Elastic Force of Vapour. Mean Degree of Moisture. (Saturation=100). Total Fall in Inches. No. of Days on which Rain fell. Average Daily Force in Miles for year. Maximum Velocity in Miles in any 24 hours, and Date. Mean Amount (0 to 10).
North Island
Mongonui 29.961 1.317 61.5 17.8 53.0 .419 76 40.140 163 153 631–7 Jan. 6.0
Previous 12 yrs 29.949 60.6 §424 .76 54.698 166
Auckland 29.995 1.291 58.8 13.8 46.8 151.4 26.3 .389 78 37.160 212 299 703–22 Aug. 6.4
Previous 14 yrs 29.944 59.5 .409 79 44.345 188
Taranaki 29.952 1.430 56.5 15.4 50.0 150.0 .368 79 56.730 196 239 660–12 Oct. 6.9
Previous 14 yrs 29.940 57.3 **371 **74 56.462 161
Napier 29.890 1.587 59.7 15.1 54.0 142.0 28.0 .354 69 21.100 98 237 550–22 Nov. 2.6
Previous 10 yrs 29.938 58.3 .384 74 36.195 108
Wanganui 30.002 1.500 55.5 20.4 61.0 146.0 23.0 .310 69 40.920 173 263 698–31 July 5.3
Previous 6 yrs 30.039 55.7 .329 72 41.059 135
Wellington 29.873 1.775 55.1 13.0 48.2 146.0 28.0 .351 80 54.602 178 243 800–14 May 5.4
Previous 14 yrs 29.905 54.8 .332 72 51.666 157
South Island
Nelson 29.826 1.357 54.2 21.9 52.0 140.0 .316 74 51.900 101 170 426–16 May 5.1
Previous 14 yrs 29.893 55.5 .361 74 62.575 88
Cape Campbell 29.964 1.630 56.3 10.4 41.8 .344 75 16.480 60 479 1,297–19 May 5.7
Previous 4 yrs 29.990 57.9 .367 75 19.667 93
Christchurch 29.804 1.919 52.8 19.4 66.5 159.2 11.3 .280 69 13.540 104 167 554–16 Nov. 5.7
Previous 14 yrs 29.884 53.3 .324 76 25.719 118
Bealey 29.621 1.849 45.7 13.8 78.0 –9.0 .203 64 155.891 207 232 665–11 Jan. 5.9
Previous 10 yrs 29.836 46.4 .253 77 98.554 171
Hokitika 29.876 1.382 51.6 11.9 43.2 147.0 24.0 .337 86 154.446 259 7.1
Previous 12 yrs 29.930 52.6 .345 85 116.097 188
Dunedin 29.680 1.685 49.9 14.4 60.0 142.0 21.0 .262 72 45.235 157 170 660–16 May 6.0
Previous 14 yrs 29.825 50.5 .280 74 34.092 160
Queenstown 29.713 1.760 50.1 16.7 62.4 .243 66 60.020 156 6.1
Previous 6 yrs *29.840 50.4 .244 66 31.607 120
Southland 29.726 1.960 48.9 17.3 60.0 158.0 .293 83 54.020 232 244 613–22 Nov. 7.0
Previous 13 yrs 29.805 49.9 274 .75 44.967 174

[Footnote] § Previous 11 years

[Footnote] ** Previous 13 years

[Footnote] ¶ 10 months only

[Footnote] * Previous 5 years

[Footnote] † Previous 9 years

[Footnote] ∥ Previous 8 years

Notes on the Weather During 1878.

January.—The weather throughout for this month has been unusually cold, wet, and boisterous for the time of year; frequent S.W. gales of violence have occurred, accompanied with thunder and hail, and the temperature has been considerably lower than the average, generally 4° and 5° below; altogether it was a very unseasonable month. Earthquake at Queenstown on 15th, at 8.45 p.m., slight.

February.—Fine weather generally throughout, with small rainfall at most places; strong winds were experienced at some of the stations, but no very violent gales; high barometer readings prevailed, but temperature below the average. Earthquake reported by Observer at Queenstown on 12th, at 3 a.m., slight.

March.—Except at the Southern stations, the rainfall was much below the average, and fine weather experienced; in the South, however, it was at times severe, and excessively wet and stormy. An earthquake was reported at Hokitika on 11th, at 9.35 p.m., slight.

April.—The weather was exceedingly fine during this period, except at Bealey, where the rain was in excess, with strong westerly winds; also at Hokitika very wet, but winds moderate; and in the extreme South the rain was over the average, with cold stormy westerly weather. Earthquakes occurred at Wanganui on the 4th, at 12.50 a.m.; at Wellington on 28th, at 6.25 p.m., lasting six seconds, N. and S., very slight; at Cape Campbell on 11th, at 9 a.m., smart, and Blenheim 11th, at 8.55 a.m., sharp, N. to E.; at Queenstown on the 25th, at 3.30 a.m., smart. A meteor was observed at Christchurch on 27th, in S.E.

May.—On the whole, rain rather below the average; the temperature was lower than usual for time of year; very cold stormy weather experienced at most of the stations, with snow, and a good deal of thunder. A meteor seen in South on 7th, very brilliant.

June.—A very cold, wet, and seyere month throughout. The rainfall at nearly all places in excess, and frequent thunder storms, with hail and snow, and prevailing S.W. winds; very low atmospheric pressure throughout. Earthquakes at Napier on 5th, at 11.15 p.m., sharp, and on 23rd, at 3.15 p.m., not so marked; at Wellington on 23rd, at 7.38 am., slight, direction S.E.; at Wanganui on 23rd, at 4.50 a.m., strong shake; at Nelson on 24th, at 8.30 a.m.; at Cape Campbell on 3rd, at 12.15 a.m., smart.

July.—Tolerably fine weather for time of year, though heavy rain at some of the stations, with strong gales, chiefly from westward; very heavy snow-storms, with hail and severe frosts, occurred in the South. Earthquakes occurred on 5th at Wellington, at 10.18 p.m., slight; at Foxton, 10.20 p.m., sharp, with loud noise; at Greytown, 10.17 p.m., smart, with noise; on 20th, at Wellington, 11.39 p.m., very slight; and at Wanganui, at midnight, smart, and on 21st a lighter shock at 3 a.m.; at Hokitika, 29th, at 12 a.m., slight.

August.—The weather was generally wet and stormy, principally from S.W.; frequent gales occurred, also snow and hail storms; low atmospheric pressure prevailed, and temperature below the average for same month in previous years. Earthquakes—Taranaki, 8th, at 8 a.m.; at Wellington, on 8th, at 7.53 a.m., slight double shock; Wanga.

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nui, on 8th, at 8. 10 am., heavy; at Lawrence and Arrow, on 24th, rather severe; at Queenstown, on 23rd, at 7. 35 p.m., slight, and a heavy shock on 24th, at 2. 38 p.m.; at Southland, a sharp shock on 25th, at 2. 40 p.m.

September.–Very high barometer readings throughout, and high temperature; in the North rain rather below the average, but in the South in excess, which, combined with the flooding of the snow rivers, owing to the hot N.W. winds and warm rain, caused considerable damage to several districts in the South. Earthquakes–On the 14th, at Wellington, 5 a.m., slight; Kaikoura, 4.45 a.m., smart; Nelson, same time, smart; Westport, 4.40 a.m., smart; Lyttelton, at 4.50 a.m., also smart; Cape Campbell, at 4.30 a.m., smart; Christchurch, at 4.30 a.m., S. to N.; also on the 30th, felt at Rangiora, from E. to W.

October.–Wet, stormy S.W. and N.W. weather generally prevailed throughout this month. Earthquakes–Wellington, on 21st, at 10.55 p.m., sharp, followed by lighter shocks; at Wanganui, on 21st, at 11 p.m., slight rumble; at Nelson, on 21st, sharp shock, at 10.55 p.m., also at 11.45 p.m. another movement; Cape Campbell, on 21st, at 11.15 p.m., sharp, and on 27th, at 3.30 a.m., slight; Christchurch, on 21st, at 11 p.m.; Hokitika, on 21st, at 11 p.m., slight; Queenstown, at midnight, slight. Meteors observed at Mongonui on 31st, and at Christchurch on 30th.

November.–Rather a wet stormy month, wind generally from S.W. and westerly; temperature on the whole about the average; frequent thunder storma occurred. Earthquakes reported at Queenstown on 8th, at 3.20 a.m.; on 14th, at 12.8 p.m., smart; and on 27th, at 6.40 a.m.

December.–Generally fine, dry, warm weather at Northern stations, but in the South excessive rain and frequently stormy cold weather experienced for time of year Earthquakes felt at Wellington on 6th, at 9 p.m., slight; on 7th, at 5 a.m., slight; on 12th, at 11.39 a.m., slight, followed by a smarter shock. Meteors observed in North on 15th, and in South on 20th and 25th.

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Note.–It is intended that a complete record of the titles of scientific papers published during each year, which have reference to New Zealand, shall be issued with future volumes of Transactions. The following list for the past year, which has been kindly compiled by Professor Hutton, will be of some use to students in the section of Natural History.

Record of Papers on New Zealand Natural History, 1878–9.

Macleayius australiensis compared with Balæna biscayensis. M. F. Gasco. Ann. Nat Hist., Series 5, Vol. 2, p. 495.

On the Genus Mesoplodon. W. H. Flower. Trans. Zool. Soc. of London, X., p 415.

Cyanoramphus novæ-zealandiæ distinct from C. saisseti. E. Layard, Ibis, 1879, p. 110.

Anas gibberifrons probably identical with A. castanea. E. P. Ramsay. P.L.S. of N.S.W. III., p. 38.

On the Larinæ. Howard Saunders. P.Z.S. of London, 1878, p. 155.

Number of cervical Vertebræ in Dinornis. F. W. Hutton. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 1, 407. and 5, 2, 499.

Two new Fishes from New Zealand. F. W. Hutton. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 3, 53.

The Dascillidæ of New Zealand. D. Sharp. Ann. Nat. Hist 5, 2, 40.

Additions to the Geodephagous Fauna of New Zealand. H. W. Bates. Ent. Month. Mag., XIV., p. 191; and XV., pp. 22, 57.

New Species of Coleoptera from New Zealand. D. Sharp. Ent. Month. Mag., XIV., pp. 7, 39; and XV., pp. 47, 81.

List of the Hemiptera of New Zealand. F. Buchanan White. Ent. Month. Mag., XIV., p. 274; and XV., pp. 31, 73, 130, 159, 213.

New Crustacea from New Zealand. T. W. Kirk. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 2, 465.

Notes on the Structure of Peripatus novæ-zealandiæ. F. W. Hutton. Ann. N.H., 5, 1, 204.

On Spirula australis. R. Owen. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 3, 1.

On some Fresh-water Shells from New Zealand. Rev. J. Tenison-Woods. P.L.S. of N.S.W., III., p. 135.

The Genus Lymnæus in Australia. A. Brown. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 2, 493.

New Species of Opisthobranch Mollusca from New Zealand. T. F. Cheeseman. P.Z.S. of London, 1878, p. 275.

Revision des Coquilles de la Nouvelle-Zélande. F. W. Hutton. Journal de Conchyliologie 1878, p. 1.

Pentagonaster dilatatus and Asterina novæ-zealandiæ, Perrier. New Species from New Zealand. Arct. Zool. Exper., V., pp. 33 and 228.

Nematoid Worm from Campbell Island. J. Chatin. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 2, 40.

New Hydroids from Australia and New Zealand. D'Arcy W. Thompson. Ann. Nat. Hist., 5, 3, 95.