Dunedin weather enthusiast Don Nash says the city is
getting a raw deal from official temperature readings well
below his own. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A Dunedin weather enthusiast says the city gets a raw
deal from its official temperature readings - and he has the
temperature gauges to prove it.
Don Nash, of Mt Mera, North Dunedin, said he was among those
angry official temperature readings showed Dunedin's
temperature reached only 21degC on Christmas Day.
Mr Nash said his three temperature gauges hit 29degC at 11am
the same day, and at 5pm the mercury was still hovering at
The same happened on Thursday, when his gauges hit 22degC
while the official temperature reading only reached 15degC.
The pattern was repeated on Friday when his gauges showed
20degC at 1.15pm, while a Dunedin radio station was busy
telling listeners it was 15degC, he said.
Mr Nash admitted he lived in a microclimate, but said debate
over the accuracy of the city's official temperatures had
rumbled on for ''many, many years''.
It was time something was done, and he believed the Dunedin
City Council should invest in new temperature gauges at sites
around the city.
The Dunedin Botanic Garden could be one, with other sites in
Northeast Valley and Maori Hill, he suggested.
The average temperature could then be taken from all of them,
providing a more accurate picture, he said.
''People from the North Island run us down all the time ...
it's misrepresentation really, in my book, and I think
Dunedin deserves a bit of credit.
''It's not right.''
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 and one at Dunedin International Airport.
The gallery site, funded by the city council but run by the
MetService, was installed in 2006 to supply temperature
readings 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 last week told the Otago Daily
Times 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.
''It is completely likely there were higher temperatures - it
all depends on exposure and wind direction.''
Dunedin hydrologist Dave Stewart said last week it was likely
a light breeze made for cooler temperatures in the Octagon
site than at Musselburgh. 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, he said.
Council spokeswoman Hannah Molloy said she was not aware of
any budget for new weather stations, but Mr Nash could make a
submission to the council's annual plan budget hearings.