MetService has acknowledged Christmas Day temperatures in
parts of Dunedin may well have been higher than the
official reading of 21degC.
People outraged Dunedin City's official temperature for
Christmas Day was only 21degC need to be aware the figure is
only ''spot data'', the MetService says.
The city has three official weather stations - one on top of
the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in the Octagon, a Niwa-run one
at Musselburgh which recorded 23.6degC on the day and one at
Dunedin International Airport, which recorded 27.1degC.
The gallery site, funded by the city council but run by the
MetService, was installed in 2006 to supply temperatures for
the council website and television news instead of the
Musselburgh site, which had generally been thought to be in
one of the coolest parts of the city.
MetService forecaster John Law said the site was chosen
because it was considered more representative of the central
city and its weather.
''Ideally, we'd like more of them [weather stations] but the
cost involved keeping the records meant it's not possible.''
Also, the gallery site recorded the shade temperature, not
the temperature in the sun.
''It is completely likely there were higher temperatures - it
all depends on exposure and wind direction.''
Amateur weather statistics gatherers should ensure their
gauges were in an exposed setting but not in full sun and not
against a wall, which could reflect heat, he said.
Dunedin hydrologist Dave Stewart said it was likely a light
breeze made for cooler temperatures in the Octagon than at
The sea breezes which affected parts of the city meant those
areas were usually cooler than sheltered suburbs, which would
have recorded 25degC to 27degC on Christmas Day, Mr Stewart