New Zealand climate in March
Historical daily rainfall records were swept aside in eastern parts of Northland as exceptionally high rainfall rates produced flooding and extensive infrastructure damage at the end of the month. In marked contrast, the rest of the month was summerlike, with a mix of anticyclones and winds from the northerly sector producing warmth and plentiful sunshine, and mainly dry conditions in the east.
For more information on the climate in March 2007, visit the climate summaries page at www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc/cs/mclimsum_07_03
Low soil moisture in the east
The relatively dry weather in most parts of the country kept March soil moisture deficits large in many eastern regions from Gisborne to north Canterbury, and in Central Otago. At the end of the month, soils were drier than normal elsewhere in Otago, and in Wellington, Kapiti, Nelson, and mid Canterbury.
High flows in Northland
March streamflows were above normal in the far north, near normal in the central North Island, Wairarapa, Buller, and coastal Southland, and generally below normal elsewhere.
January to March: the climate we predicted and what happened
Rainfall in the North Island, apart from Northland, and in the north of the South Island, was normal or below normal as predicted. Elsewhere, the South Island was drier than expected.
Air temperatures were higher than expected in many parts of the country, although normal as predicted in much of the east of the North Island.
Streamflows were normal or below normal as predicted in the North Island apart from the far north, and the north and east of the South Island. Western South Island flows were lower than predicted.