March's climate

New Zealand climate in March

 

River flows (click to enlarge).

Temperature (click to enlarge).

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

 

Soil moisture (click to enlarge).

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

 

River flows (click to enlarge).

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

 

(click to enlarge).

Rainfall

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.


 

(click to enlarge).

Air temperature

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.


 

(click to enlarge).

River flows

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.


The three outcome maps give the tercile rankings of the rainfall totals, mean air temperatures, and mean river flows that eventuated from January to March, in comparison with the forecast conditions.

As an approximate guide, middle tercile rainfalls typically range from 80 to 115% of the historical normal, and middle tercile temperatures range about the average by plus or minus 0.5 °C.