New Zealand Climate Update 132 – June 2010

What happened in May, how our climate outlook for the previous three months turned out, global and local sea temperatures, and our outlook for June to August.

Current Climate - May 2010

May was a stormy month overall, with more lows than normal located in the Tasman Sea, and higher pressures east of the Chatham Islands. This produced more northeasterly winds than normal over New Zealand, resulting in an extremely wet month and several flood events in eastern regions. Soil moisture levels are now at capacity in most regions, but soils remain drier than normal in Waikato and Manawatu.

Global Setting – May 2010

The El Niño conditions that prevailed since the winter of 2009 have dissipated, and the equatorial Pacific is now in an ENSO-neutral state. Recent trends suggest a La Niña could develop by late winter or early spring of 2010. During June-August, mean sea level pressures are likely to be above normal over the North Island with a weak westerly flow anomaly over the South Island.

Outlook - June to August 2010

During Jun-Aug, mean sea level pressures are likely to be above normal over the North Island, with a weak westerly anomaly over the South Island. Temperatures are likely to be above average in the North Island, and average or above average in the South Island. Rainfall is likely to be near normal over much of the country.