Marlborough's weather: April 2019 was a dry month - but was far from breaking records

Written by Eric Gilbert on .

April's blue skies and apple blossom (Photo: Eric Gilbert) April's blue skies and apple blossom (Photo: Eric Gilbert) The beginning of April looked as if Marlborough was in for a wet month with several days of rain and a deluge on April 4 that produced 18.8mm. However, after April 9 there was a predominantly dry period with just two more wet days.  

The April rainfall amounted to 43.0mm, which was 15.3mm below the 35-year average. Although a relatively dry month, this pales in comparison with the minuscule amount of 2mm that fell in the whole of April 1984. 

The opposite was true of the year 2000 when we were almost submerged under 165.2mm of rainfall, which was almost three times the April average.

Analysing the rainfall for the first four months of 2019, I find that the total is 221mm being 54mm below the 35-year average for this four-month period. 

We must also take into account that evaporation into the atmosphere from ground sources and plant life, amounted to the equivalent rainfall of 71mm thus producing a deficit over the month of 28mm.   No wonder the ground was so hard.

Turning to the April temperature data I find that the average was 0.6C above the 35-year average.  This is principally due to very cool Aprils in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. However, comparing 2019 against the last 10 years the month's temperature  was average.

There was a warm period from April 17 to April 24 that saw six days when the thermometer rose above 20C - when the average is 14C. The warmest day occurred on April 22 with a maximum of 23.9C. 

Early April was decidedly cool with a maximum of just 7.7C on April 3 followed by an even cooler day on April 4 when the thermometer refused to climb above 5.4C set against the daytime average of 14C.

On five mornings an air frost occurred during the early hours - with the lowest temperature set on April 3 with a minimum of -3.2C.

Regrettably my sunshine recorder had to be moved from its rooftop position for expert attention as it developed a fault, but there were many days of strong sunshine with peak solar energy recorded on April 21 and the UV level rising into the ‘high’ category on five days during the last week.

There were many days with little wind, but the period from April 24 to April 27 was particularly windy with maximum gusts of 22mph, 26mph, 31mph and 42mph respectively as Storm Hannah approached from the west and then traversed the country.

Fog occurred at dawn on three days - with visibility down to 100m on April 17. 

There is daily information on Eric Gilbert's Windrush Weather website.