Current climate: November 2015
November 2015 was characterised by air pressures which were slightly higher than normal over New Zealand, with lower pressures than normal present to the south of the country. This pressure pattern resulted in westerly-quarter airflow anomalies over New Zealand.
It was a dry month for most of the South Island, where rainfall was typically below normal (50-79% of the November normal) or well below normal (< 50% of the November normal). Southern, western and northern parts of the North Island also received below normal or well below normal rainfall. In contrast, rainfall in Hawke’s Bay, western Waikato and southern Auckland was above normal (120-149% of the November normal). It was a particularly wet month in Gisborne where rainfall was well above normal (> 149% of the November normal). Notably, nearly two-thirds of Gisborne’s rainfall occurred during a single rain event. Remaining areas of New Zealand typically received near normal rainfall (within 20% of the November normal) for the month.
November temperatures were near average (within 0.50°C of the November average) or below average (0.51 to 1.20°C below the November average) for most parts of the country. Below average temperatures were observed most prominently in western and southern parts of the North Island. Parts of central Northland observed above average temperatures (0.51 to 1.20°C above the November average).
The majority of the country received near normal (90-109% of the November normal) or above normal (110-125% of the November normal) sunshine hours for November. It was particularly sunny for eastern areas of the South Island and central areas of the North Island, with well above normal sunshine (> 125%) observed in Taumarunui, Cheviot, Dunedin and Balclutha.
As of 1 December 2015, soil moisture levels were below normal for the time of year for extensive areas of New Zealand, but especially for Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa, Taranaki, southern Waikato and Northland. Soil moisture levels were above normal in Gisborne, which resulted from the wetter than normal month that was observed in the region. Likewise, soil moisture levels were above normal in southern Fiordland and Stewart Island.