Climate Update 42 - December 2002

December

Climate

River flows

Soil moisture

Three-month outlook

Checkpoint

Backgrounder

Backgrounder

Backgrounder

Pacific ENSO signal
The orange-yellow shading along the equator, stretching west from Ecuador, is a typical 'footprint' of the El Niño phase of the El Niño -Southern Oscillation. The shading indicates that sea surface temperatures in the area are 1-2 °C or more above normal.

Checkpoint

Outlook and outcome – September to November 2002
Rainfall was lower than expected in the north and east of the North Island, and in Marlborough and parts of north and east Otago.

December

Climate Update is a summary each month of New Zealand's climate, including soil moisture and river flows.
December 2002 – Number 42
November’s climate: November cold and windy: Dry and cold weather, and near normal river flows, in many areas.
November’s river flows: November flows mostly near normal.
Soil moisture levels: East coast soils were generally drier than normal by the end of October.
Three month outlook: Cooler than normal in some places; drier than normal in the east.
Checkpoint: How well are we doing with our predictions?
Backgrounder: Rainfall observation net

Climate

New Zealand Climate
Cold, windy November
Cold and windy, and relatively dry in many places, November conditions overall were generally uncharacteristic of spring.
Air temperatures were more than 2.0 °C below normal in central and northern parts of the North Island, and in parts of central and eastern Otago.

River flows

New Zealand River Flows
November flows mostly near normal
November streamflows were low in the north and northeast of the North Island, Nelson, coastal Marlborough, and South Canterbury. Flows were near normal elsewhere, except for some above average flows in north Canterbury.

Soil moisture

Soil moisture
At the end of November, soil moisture levels were lower than normal in much of Northland, and in parts of Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Marlborough, and Otago.

Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of November (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of November average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.