Climate Update 82 - April 2006

April

March's climate

Global setting & climate outlook

Feature article

April

A monthly newsletter from the National Climate Centre.
April 2006 – Number 82
March – lowest temperatures since 1993; low rainfall in Nelson, inland south Canterbury, and many western regions. Stream flows low in the southwest North Island and the northern and central South Island.
Outlook for April to June – mostly warm conditions, especially in the North Island.

March's climate

New Zealand climate in March 2006

Rainfall (click to enlarge).

Temperature (click to enlarge).

March was cold, with mean temperatures being the lowest since 1993. The national average temperature of 14.2 °C (almost 3.0 °C lower than in February) was 1.5 °C below the 1971-2000 normal.
Rainfall was above average in many northern and eastern parts of the North Island and in coastal Southland. Some high falls in Northland were associated with the passage of ex-tropical cyclone Wati.

Global setting & climate outlook

Global setting
Weak La Niña

Difference from average global SST (click to enlarge).

Monthly SOI values (click to enlarge).

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

New Zealand SST (click to enlarge).

SST anomalies in the New Zealand region decreased markedly in March to +0.1 °C (from about +1.0 °C in February). The lower temperatures were associated with cool south to southwest air flows over the country.