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This is one of the most extreme drought events for Auckland in modern times and similar to one experienced in 1993/94.
Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley.
NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa will sail out of Wellington Harbour on Sunday for the first scientific voyage since the lockdown.
Please note that this will be the final Hotspot Watch update for this season. Weekly Hotspot Watches will return in the spring.
NIWA scientists are seeking help to sniff out smoke in a bid to help improve air quality in New Zealand.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.
Minor to moderate soil moisture decreases across the entire North Island with severe meteorological drought in parts of northern Auckland, Coromandel and southern coast of Hawke's Bay. Drier than normal conditions are still present in the top of the South Island but significant rainfall in the west.
Traffic pollution measurements in Auckland since Level 4 restrictions were eased on Tuesday have shown levels soaring even higher than those before lockdown, NIWA air quality scientists say.
Before fish Alvin Setiawan studied weta and penguins. These days he’s never far from the kingfish tanks at NIWA’s Northland Marine Research Centre at Bream Bay.
Moderate soil moisture increases in the western North Island and in the Far North, while soil moisture decreases were observed along the east coast and Wairarapa. Many parts of the South Island saw small soil moisture increases during the past week, although small decreases were observed in northern Canterbury.
A blob of smoke from the Australian bushfires is continuing to circle the globe almost four months after it formed.
A deep dive into the collection of an Auckland War Memorial Museum has revealed an extremely rare albino shark.

A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing significant soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.

Pollution levels in our main cities are continuing to fall as a result of the nationwide lockdown, says NIWA.
High waves pounding Wellington’s south coast today are being caused by a deep area of low pressure passing the Chatham Islands, according to NIWA forecaster Ben Noll.
A little can mean a lot – especially when it comes to the relationship between sea level rise and coastal flooding.
The New Zealand Drought Index shows that severe meteorological drought remains across the Coromandel Peninsula and near Cape Reinga. Meteorological drought is found across parts of the Far North, Auckland, and far northern Waikato
In the North Island severe meteorological drought coverage has again receded significantly in the past week, although it is still widespread in the Coromandel Peninsula. Meteorological drought remains in place across parts of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, and East Cape. Meteorological drought has completely dissipated across the upper South Island, although widespread dry soils are still present.
NIWA scientists say air quality has dramatically improved in Auckland since the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown was instigated.
NIWA’s flagship research ship Tangaroa returned to Wellington yesterday after cutting short an international scientific voyage taking place off the east coast of New Zealand.


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