Story: Geomorphology – a history

Rainfall across the Southern Alps

Rainfall across the Southern Alps

This cross-section shows the wide variation in annual rainfall within a few tens of kilometres on the western side of the Southern Alps. The highest rainfall – over 10 metres – occurs in a narrow band where the prevailing westerly winds force moist air from the Tasman Sea over the mountains. As the air rises and cools, it drops much of the moisture as rain.

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Graphic by Trevor Chinn

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Source: Trevor Chinn, ‘How wet is the wettest of the wet West Coast’. New Zealand Alpine Journal 32 (1979): 86

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How to cite this page:

Rebecca Priestley, 'Geomorphology – a history - Mid- to late 20th century ideas', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/13120/rainfall-across-the-southern-alps (accessed 18 February 2019)

Story by Rebecca Priestley, published 24 Sep 2007