Rain Watch by Mike the Mower Man

Mike Taylor the rain man
Mike and mower and a certain donkey giving encouragement.

Lookit that.  It’s raining again. But is it raining in Puketaha? Number 8 Network is delighted to introduce our new columnist, Puketaha’s Mike the Mower Man Taylor.

Mike likes rain.  And he’s been keeping records for a while.  But let’s let him tell his story.

“My name is Mike Taylor and I have been collecting rainfall figures as a hobby for a few years.

I like rain! It comes from the heavens. It’s free, belongs to nobody and it is absolutely essential for our survival on this earth.

From 2011 I began keeping a more accurate record of the rainfall in Puketaha. I thought it would be interesting to compare year on year the amounts of rainfall we have had.

Perhaps, over time, it could even give an indication whether the seasons were changing. However I suspect I might have to be around a very long time to get a true indication!

I don’t have or use expensive equipment; just a couple of rain gauges (of different types) set a distant apart. More often than not they will measure the same amount, if not, I just take the average between the two. The official rainfall for Hamilton is recorded at the airport and I thought their figures probably didn’t give a fair reflection of what amount of rainfall was falling in our district. One example: In 2017 in a 24 hour between 8 am on the 12th April and 8 am on the 13th April I recorded 76 mils of rain. Hamilton (Airport) recorded nil rainfall for the same period. These anomalies aren’t unusual.

Carol, my wife, and I have a small lifestyle block on Seddon Rd, Puketaha. We have a few sheep, some cattle, too many chickens, and a grumpy donkey called Carnival plus two cats, one of which belongs to the neighbour! Carol and I have a small lawn mowing business called Mowing Today. Most of our work comes from the eastern side of the river. As much as I like rain we do not mow in the rain! I have had a long association with the district attending both Puketaha and Gordonton primary schools in the 1950s and 60s. There have many changes in that time!

Probably the most noticeable changes, weather wise for me at least, has been the decrease in the amount of foggy days we get over winter. Also, with the much improved roads and drainage throughout the district flooding is not the problem it once was. For example, the dip on Puketaha Rd between Seddon and Reid Roads was often flooded in winter as was the dip in Taylor Rd where the Komakorau Stream crosses over.

Since I started keeping records in 2011 the wettest year was 2017 with a total of 1687 mils of rain. The driest was 2013 with 1116 mils. Also the beginning of 2013 was the last year we had a drought of any consequence. The average rainfall for the last seven years has been 1303 mils of rain. The wettest month was April 2017 – 294 mils, the driest, December 2017 – 11 mils.”

Many cheers Mike, and we look forward to your rain watch.  (Number 8 Network’s David Riddell will put together figures for Gordonton, but he doesn’t have a photogenic donkey, only a grumpy cat called Marley.)


Carnival the donkey
Carnival the donkey has his own thoughts on weather and would like the chance to share them… but first he has to learn to type.



Puketaha June: 173mm

Gordonton June: 150mm

Overall the patterns are very similar, the big difference being that Puketaha had a big downpour on the 17th which Woodlands Rd largely missed.


Puketaha Rainfall June 2018


Woodlands Rd Rainfall June 2018






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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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