Climate Update 81 - March 2006

March

February's climate

Global setting & climate outlook

Feature article

Feature article

Modelling wind behaviour over complex terrain

Potential sites for wind power generation are identified in red.

Understanding New Zealand’s wind climatology is very important in a number of areas, such as:

Identifying areas of high daily wind runs for the siting of wind-farms.
Identifying areas prone to extreme wind gusts. This is important for hazard mapping.
Identifying local katabatic winds (drainage flows) on cold stable nights.

March

A monthly newsletter from the National Climate Centre.
March 2006 – Number 81
February – wet in isolated areas. Low rainfall in the north, and dry soils in many northern and eastern parts of the country. Near average temperatures in most regions.
Outlook for March to May – higher than normal northeasterly wind flows with above average temperatures, particularly in the north.

February's climate

New Zealand climate in February 2006

Rainfall (click to enlarge).

Temperature (click to enlarge).

Rainfall was almost 300% of normal in parts of eastern Bay of Plenty. Above normal rain fell in inland Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Kapiti, Wellington, central Wairarapa, and isolated parts of Nelson, the Marlborough coast, north Canterbury, and Southland. In contrast, rainfall was 25% of normal or less throughout much of Northland, Auckland, and coastal Wairarapa, and 50% or less of normal in Central and East Otago.

Global setting & climate outlook

Global setting
La Niña weakens further

Difference from average global SST (click to enlarge).

Monthly SOI values (click to enlarge).

The tropical Pacific is in a weak La Niña state at present, but conditions should ease to neutral by winter 2006.
Sea surface temperatures (SST) around New Zealand

New Zealand SST (click to enlarge).

Sea surface temperatures around New Zealand are close to average or above average and are expected to remain this way until May.