Climate Update 98 - August 2007

August

July's climate

Global setting and climate outlook

Feature article

Feature article

Ensuring buildings stand up to heavy snow

Following the 12 June 2006 Canterbury snowstorms, the Department of Building and Housing engaged NIWA to undertake a study to examine snow loading in New Zealand. This was prompted by the collapse of several buildings from the heavy snowfall, and the concurrent review of the proposed new building standard AS/NZ 1170.
The NIWA report showed that there were insufficient snow loading data for a robust review of the proposed building standards, and recommended a systematic data collection campaign following future severe low-elevation snowstorms.

August

A monthly newsletter from the National Climate Centre.
August 2007 – Number 98
July – an unusual number of depressions brought floods and high winds to some places; calm and cold conditions in southern New Zealand for much of the month.
Outlook for August to October – air temperatures are likely to be average or above average in most regions, but with typical early spring cold outbreaks at times.

July's climate

New Zealand climate in July

Rainfall (click to enlarge).

Temperature (click to enlarge).

July rainfall was above normal in the north and east of the North Island, and in coastal South Canterbury and Otago; the north and west of the South Island were drier than normal.
Air temperatures were below normal in the lower South Island and above average throughout much of the North Island. The national average temperature of 8.1 °C was 0.2 °C above normal.

Global setting and climate outlook

Global setting and climate outlook
La Niña falters but still possible

Difference from average global SST (click to enlarge).

Monthly SOI values (click to enlarge).

Conditions in the Equatorial Pacific are currently neutral, but there is a near 50% chance of a transition to La Niña conditions during the next 2–3 months, with less than a 10% chance of El Niño conditions developing. The characteristic La Niña ‘cold tongue’ in ocean surface temperatures remains evident near the South American coast (see map below).