Unusually parched Southland pasture; but a green tinge on the hills renews hope of an end to this drought. (Photo: David Turner).

Climate Update is a summary each month of New Zealand's climate, including soil moisture and river flows.

February 2004 – Number 56

January’s climate: High temperatures, especially in the east. Dry conditions for much of the month in the east and south of the South Island. River and stream flows were extremely low in the north, east, and south of the South Island.

January’s river flows: High river flows in parts of the North Island.

Soil moisture levels: Moisture deficits in Northland and the southern North Island were lower at the end of January in comparison to the beginning of the month.

Three month outlook: wetter than average conditions may occur in western districts, with average to above average temperatures in most places.

Checkpoint: How well are we doing with our predictions?

Backgrounder: Managing the end of a drought.

This issue of the Climate Update is available as a PDF.