Current climate: April 2016
During April 2016, a west to east oriented belt of significantly higher than normal pressure was present over New Zealand. This pressure pattern resulted in a settled month of weather, with warm temperatures, low rainfall and high sunshine hours characterising the month for many parts of the country.
Rainfall was well below normal (<50% of normal) for parts of Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Wellington, Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago. Conversely, rainfall was well above normal (>149% of normal) or above normal (120-149% of normal) in the southwest of the South Island and Stewart Island.
April temperatures were well above average (>1.20°C above the April average) or above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C above the April average) in parts of every region of the country. It was a particularly warm month for much of Southland which recorded temperatures more than 2.0°C above the April average. Isolated parts of Waikato, Gisborne, West Coast and Canterbury observed near average April temperatures (-0.51°C to +0.50°C of the April average).
Sunshine was well above normal (>125% of normal) or above normal (110-125% of normal) in many parts of the country. The exception was parts of Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Southland where sunshine was near normal (90-109% of normal).
As at 1 May 2016, soil moisture levels were below normal for the time of year for eastern and inland parts of the South Island, and extensive parts of the North Island. Soil moisture levels were above normal in parts of Fiordland.