Global Setting – March 2012

The La Niña event is dissipating, and ENSO-neutral conditions are returning to the tropical Pacific.  Lower pressures than normal are expected to the north of the country during the April to June period, with more anticyclonic conditions over and east of southern New Zealand.

Sea surface temperatures 

Seas around New Zealand are likely to remain slightly cooler than usual during late autumn.

Differences from average global sea surface temperatures for 4th March to 31st March 2012. Map courtesy of NOAA Climate Diagnostics Centre (
Monthly values of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), a measure of changes in atmospheric pressures across the Pacific, and the 3-month mean (black line). SOI mean values: March SOI +0.1; January to March average +0.4.
Differences from normal March surface temperatures in the seas around New Zealand.