Current climate: August 2017

Overall, mean sea level pressure was lower than normal over and to the west of New Zealand during August while higher than normal mean sea level pressure occurred offshore to the east. These pressure patterns resulted in more northerly wind flows across the country, resulting in warmer than average temperatures for the time of year. Several isolated storm events brought large amounts of rain to parts of the country resulting in flooding, most notably around Christchurch and New Plymouth.

Rainfall

Well above normal rainfall (> 149%) in central and western areas of the North Island, with below normal rainfall (50-79%) for the east. In the South Island, rainfall was well below normal (< 50%) in eastern Otago and Southland, but above normal (120-149%) in Fiordland, central parts of the West Coast and Canterbury, and to the very north.

Temperature

Third-warmest August on record. Above average (+0.51°C to +1.20°C) to well above average (> +1.20°C) temperatures for almost the entire country.

Sunshine

Sunshine hours were near normal (90-109%) or above normal (110-125%) for much of the country. Below normal sunshine (75-89%) occurred in central and southern parts of the North Island, and the very northern portion of the South Island

Soil Moisture

As at 1 September 2017, soil moisture levels were near normal for virtually the entire country. Soil moisture was slightly higher than normal in Kaikoura through western Marlborough, as well as north of Dunedin through to Oamaru.

Departure from average air temperature for August 2017.
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 August 2017.
Research subject: Climate