Retrospective: January-March 2018 Outlook

For January – March 2018, the atmospheric circulation around New Zealand was forecast to be characterized by higher pressures than normal east and south of the country, while lower pressure than normal was forecast over the Tasman Sea area, extending over the country. This pressure pattern was expected to be associated with unsettled conditions with periods of north-easterly quarter flow anomalies. Actual pressures were lower than normal to the west of the country resulting in more northeasterlies than normal across the country.

Predicted air temperature: January – March 2018 temperatures were forecast to be above average with high confidence for all regions of New Zealand.

Outcome: Actual temperatures were above average for all regions.

Predicted rainfall: January – March 2018 rainfall totals were most likely to be in the above normal range in the North Island and near normal or above normal in the South Island.

Outcome: Actual rainfall was above normal for much of the North Island as well as the north and east of the South Island. Rainfall was near normal for parts of Gisborne, the West Coast and much of Southland Hawke’s Bay.