Winter 2022 likely wettest season in one hundred years
It never rains but it pours . . . so it will come as no surprise that July and August 2022 feature prominently in the Marlborough District Council’s annual State of the Environment Rainfall Report released today.
“Winter 2022 was likely the wettest in Marlborough in approximately 100 years,” Surface Water Hydrologist Charlotte Tomlinson told members of Council’s Environment & Planning Committee. The past year had seen rainfall which was well above average in most monitoring sites around the region, she said.
On Friday 19 August 2022 a state of emergency was declared in Marlborough because of heavy rain and flooding in the region.
Council currently monitors rainfall at 27 sites and this data is supplemented by several rainfall monitoring stations operated by NIWA, the Marlborough Research Centre, and Fire & Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). Some of these have more than 30 years of data available, said Ms Tomlinson.
A new rainfall record was also set for Blenheim.
“July 2022 was the wettest month in 93 years for Blenheim with 220mm of rain received. This was also the first-time monthly rainfall has exceeded 200 mm in the town.”
“August 2022 was also the first month where more than one metre of rainfall was recorded at a monitoring site in Marlborough, with 1,241 mm recorded at Tunakino in the Rai Valley,” said Ms Tomlinson.
Kenepuru Heads in the Marlborough Sounds also had significantly more rain than usual – receiving 2.8 metres for the year instead of the average 1.7 metres.
Overall, winter 2022 had the highest rainfall of any season at 12 out of the fourteen long-term monitoring sites. The oldest of these is Wairau Valley at Southwold, which was established more than one hundred years ago, and a site at Linkwater which has been recording rainfall since 1938.
The 2022/23 hydrological year – which runs from 1 July to 30 June - had between 20 and 60% more rainfall than average across the entire region.
The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.