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Current climate: October 2016

During October 2016, mean sea-level pressures were much lower than normal over and to the southwest of New Zealand, which resulted in a prevalence of winds from a westerly direction. However, several storms during the month took shape south and east of the country, which resulted in periods of southerly and easterly wind flows as well.


October rainfall was generally above normal (120-149%) or well above normal (> 149%) for much of the southern South Island, including Otago, Southland, southern Canterbury and southern Westland, in addition to Nelson, eastern Tasman, western Marlborough, coastal Gisborne and northern Hawke’s Bay, and eastern Bay of Plenty. Rainfall was generally near normal (80-119%) or below normal (50-79%) for much of the remainder of the North Island and the central South Island north of Otago. However, rainfall was well below normal (< 50%) in coastal Wairarapa and isolated parts of the far North.


October temperatures were above average (+0.50°C to +1.20°C) throughout much of New Zealand. Temperatures were generally near average (-0.50 to +0.50°C) from western Northland to western Waikato, central Bay of Plenty, and from Tasman to central Otago.


October sunshine was below normal (75-89%) or well below normal (< 75%) in parts of the south-western North Island, central Canterbury and central Otago, whereas above normal (110-125%) sunshine was observed in western Northland, western Waikato, and parts of Westland. In addition, well above normal (> 125%) sunshine was experienced in far northern Northland.

Soil Moisture

At the end of October 2016, soil moisture levels were much lower than normal for the time of year in coastal northern Canterbury and coastal Wairarapa. Soil moisture levels were above normal for the time of year in much of Gisborne and northern Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, eastern Tasman, western Marlborough, and Fiordland east to coastal Otago. Soil moisture levels were near normal for the remainder of the country.

Departure from average air temperature for October 2016.
End of month water balance in the pasture root zone for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.
Percentage of normal rainfall for October 2016.


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