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Tuatara: Volume 20, Issue 3, November 1973


page 165


The Editor of Tuatara,
C/- Victoria University of Wellington,
Box 196,

Dear Sir,

E. C. Young1 is correct in his supposition that other five-day calendars have been devised. One which has been adopted by the World Meteorological Organization for climatological data recording commences with ‘pentade’ No. 1 for January 1–5. As with Young's calendar February 29 becomes part of a six-day grouping. While this scheme leaves the southern hemisphere worker at a disadvantage in that his summer field season still straddles two years of pentades, this is perhaps outweighed by the convenience of using an established time interval in which other relevant data may have already been tabulated. If consecutive numbering through a southern summer is desired this could be an alternative to the conventional numbering, e.g. for January 1–5, 1972, ‘pentade No. 1 (1972)’ or ‘pentade No. 38 (1971–72 season)’.

Although few climatological data have actually been summarised in this way, recent development of computer methods makes it increasingly feasible to do so. As an example the following table gives pentade and monthly averages of extra-atmospheric solar radiation on a horizontal surface for latitude forty south.

J. D. Coulter

N.Z, Meteorogical Service,

1 E. C. Young, 1972: A five-day week calendar for use in southern hemisphere studies. Tuatara 19: 97–99.