Current climate: November 2017
November 2017 was characterised by higher than normal sea level pressure over New Zealand and the surrounding seas, particularly to the south of the country. This pressure setup, consistent with La Niña conditions, resulted in a long period of dry, settled, and very warm weather across the country during the second half of the month.
Rainfall was well below normal (<50% of normal) for much of Canterbury, the West Coast, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Wellington, Wairarapa, Manawatu-Whanganui, parts of Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, and Bay of Plenty. Isolated pockets of above normal (120-149% of normal) rainfall occurred in Northland, the Queenstown-Lakes District, and about Roxburgh (Central Otago). Rainfall was below normal (50-79% of normal) or below normal (80-119%) elsewhere.
Temperatures were well above average (>1.20°C of average) in parts of Southland, interior Otago, interior Canterbury, the West Coast, and interior Waikato. Temperatures were above average (0.51-1.20°C above average) for most of the rest of the country, except for some eastern coastal areas of both Islands that recorded near (-0.50°C to +0.50°C of average) average temperatures.
Sunshine was well above normal (>125% of normal) or above normal (110-125% of normal) for much of the South Island and western North Island. Sunshine was near normal (90-110% of normal) for most other parts of the country, except for areas in Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel Peninsula, and Northland where sunshine was below normal (75-89% of normal).
As of 1 December, soils were significantly drier than normal for the time of year across a large portion of the South Island, particularly in the west, as well as the lower and western North Island. Soil moisture was slightly below normal or near normal in Central Otago, the Central Plateau, Gisborne, Coromandel Peninsula, and northern Northland. Soil moisture was near or above normal in the Aupouri Peninsula and Great Barrier Island.