Current climate: February 2019
Mean atmospheric pressure during February was near normal over much of New Zealand with lower than normal pressures to the north and south. This pressure setup resulted in a slightly enhanced northwest flow over the South Island and slightly more east-southeast winds than normal for the North Island.
Temperatures were above average (0.5 to 1.2°C above average) or well above average (>1.2°C above average) for much of New Zealand with areas of near average temperatures (-0.5 to +0.5°C of average) in the eastern and lower North Island as well as the upper and western South Island.
February rainfall was below normal (50-79% of normal) or well below normal (<50% of normal) for most of the country. Above normal (120-149% of normal) or well above normal (>149% of normal) rainfall was observed for parts of Gisborne, coastal Southland, and north Canterbury (between Kaikoura and Waipara) while near normal rainfall (80-119% of normal) was mostly restricted to the east coast of the North Island (south of Napier) and small pockets in several locations around the country.
At the end of February, drier than normal soils were present across much the country. Severely dry soils were present across Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Manawatu-Whanganui and extremely dry soils were present in the Taranaki, Tasman and Nelson regions. Meteorological drought conditions (as defined by the NZ Drought Index) were present at the end of February in Nelson, Tasman and the Buller District.