Mesoscale and local climates in New Zealand

Sturman, Andrew P., McGowan, Hamish A. and Spronken-Smith, Rachel A. (1999) Mesoscale and local climates in New Zealand. Progress in Physical Geography, 23 4: 611-635. doi:10.1191/030913399677305474

Author Sturman, Andrew P.
McGowan, Hamish A.
Spronken-Smith, Rachel A.
Title Mesoscale and local climates in New Zealand
Journal name Progress in Physical Geography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-1333
Publication date 1999-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1191/030913399677305474
Volume 23
Issue 4
Start page 611
End page 635
Total pages 25
Place of publication London, UK
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 0401 Atmospheric Sciences
Formatted abstract
New Zealand is a country of marked local and regional environmental variability. The complexity of the terrain and significant relief of this island nation surrounded by extensive areas of ocean produce rapid changes of climate over relatively short distances. This article provides a selective review of recent research into the mesoscale and local climates of this interestingly varied environment. Research completed on energy budgets of the varying surface types provides the starting point for an assessment of thermal effects on the atmospheric boundary layer and airflow. The dynamic effects of surface topography are also seen to have a major impact on regional and local airflow patterns, as well as on mesoscale variations of convection and precipitation. It is clear that the interaction of mid-latitude synoptic weather systems with the mountains of New Zealand produces distinct patterns of wind and rainfall that have a major impact on the physical and human environment of the country. The föhn nor'wester and southerly changes are significant local meteorological phenomena, while mesoscale climate processes are increasingly recognized as important for agricultural activities, the management of hydrological systems and in dealing with environmental problems such as air pollution.
Keyword air pollution
energy balance
lake and sea breezes
New Zealand
orographic precipitation
southerly changes
Southern Alps
weather prediction
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Created: Thu, 22 Jul 2010, 09:40:14 EST by Laura McTaggart