Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Research article
01 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 01 Mar 2016

The "dirty weather" diaries of Reverend Richard Davis: insights about early colonial-era meteorology and climate variability for northern New Zealand, 1839–1851

Andrew M. Lorrey and Petra R. Chappell

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Subject: Atmospheric Dynamics | Archive: Historical Records | Timescale: Instrumental Period
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Cited articles

Allan, R., Brohan, P., Compo, G. P., Stone, R., Luterbacher, J., and Bronnimann, S.: The International Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE) Initiative, B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 92, 1421–1425, 2011.
Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D., and Gergis, J.: Temperature variations of southeastern Australia, 1860–2011, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal, 62, 227–245, 2012.
Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D., and Gergis, J.: Southeastern Australian climate variability 1860-2009: a multivariate analysis, Int. J. Climatol., 34, 1928–1944, 2014.
Banks, J.: The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks, available online: (last access: 22 May 2015), 1768–1771.
Chappell, P. R.: The climate and weather of Northland, NIWA Science and Technology Series, 59, 40 pp. 2013.
Short summary
The meteorological diary of Reverend Richard Davis (1839–1844; 1848–1851) is the earliest continuous daily instrumental weather observation record for New Zealand. It pre-dates James Hector's meteorological network by more than 20 years, and it contains evidence that temperatures for May–August were on average colder than present day in Northland. Some weather extremes Davis also witnessed may have been more frequent in the mid-1800s relative to the modern era, including frost, ice and snow.