Global setting & climate outlook

Global setting and climate outlook

Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) around New Zealand

New Zealand SST (click to enlarge).

Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the New Zealand region increased sharply in May to near +0.8 °C, the 16th consecutive month of above average SST in the New Zealand region shown in the map below. The average temperature anomaly for March to May was about +0.4 °C.

No El Niño or La Niña

Difference from average global SST (click to enlarge).

Monthly SOI values (click to enlarge).

The tropical Pacific should remain in a neutral state over the next 3 months.

Outlook for June 2006 to August 2006

Regional outlook (click to enlarge).

Atmospheric pressures during winter are expected to be higher than normal to the south and east of the South Island, with more easterly or northeasterly air flows than usual over New Zealand.

Air temperatures are likely to be average or above average in the North Island and the northern South Island, and near average over the rest of the South Island. Despite the overall temperature expectation, cold outbreaks typical of winter will occur.

Rainfalls are likely to be normal or above normal in the north of the North Island and east of the South Island. Elsewhere, including the main South Island hydro catchments, near normal seasonal rainfalls are the most likely outcome.

Soil moisture is likely to be normal or above normal in all regions. Above normal river flows are likely in the northern North Island, with normal or above normal flows likely in the remainder of the North Island. For the South Island, above normal river flows are likely in the east, including in rivers fed predominantly from catchments well to the east of the South Island Main Divide. Normal flows are likely elsewhere, including in the major South Island rivers fed from the Southern Alps.