Retrospective: March-May 2016 Outlook

For March – May 2016, above normal pressure was forecast to the north and northeast of New Zealand, while below normal pressure was expected to the south of the country.  This circulation pattern was likely to be accompanied by anomalous northerly and north-westerly wind flows. Actual pressures were lower than normal south of Australia and slightly higher than normal to the northeast of New Zealand. This pressure pattern produced more northwesterlies than normal.

Predicted air temperature: March – May 2016 temperatures were forecast to be above average for all regions of the country.

Outcome: Actual seasonal temperatures were indeed above average for the entire country. In the North Island temperatures were more than 1.5°C above normal.

Predicted rainfall: March – May 2016 rainfall was forecast to be near normal for the north of the North Island and east of the South Island. Normal or below normal rainfall totals were likely for the west and east of the North Island, whereas normal or above normal was likely for the north and west of the South Island.

Outcome: Actual rainfall was below normal for the east of the North Island, Auckland, Kaipara, the Far North and Kaikoura. Rainfall was above normal in the west of the South Island as well as Nelson, Tasman and the Manawatu. Rainfall was near normal elsewhere.

Weather station. [NIWA]