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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.
On a still and sunny December day when most Kiwis were looking longingly towards the beach, two NIWA researchers staff had their eyes firmly on the Southern Alps.
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.
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.

Our work

NIWA’s research into forecasting weather systems aims to increase the resilience of New Zealand communities to weather-related hazards.
Our Future Climate New Zealand is an interactive website that lets you to look at projections for a number of climate variables for New Zealand between now and 2100.
Last updated: 
11 August 2020
NIWA is leading a New Zealand partnership to map the South and West Pacific Ocean's seabed as part of a worldwide initiative to map the entire globe’s seafloor.
Does climate change affect the position of the Subtropical Front around New Zealand? This has important consequences for New Zealand's climate and biological productivity.

Latest videos

Glacier melt: A Time Capsule

Since 2016 enough ice has melted from the South Island’s Brewster Glacier to meet the drinking water needs of all New Zealanders for three years.

Tropical Cyclone Outlook: November 2020-April 2021

The NIWA and MetService assessment of named tropical cyclone (TC) activity indicates 8 to 10 named TCs could occur in the Southwest Pacific basin between November 2020 and April 2021. This seasonal outlook is for normal to below normal activity in terms of overall named cyclone systems in the region. 

2019 New Zealand Climate Summary
NIWA climate scientist Nava Fedaeff presents the NIWA annual climate summary for New Zealand 2019.
Glacier melt: A Time Capsule

Since 2016 enough ice has melted from the South Island’s Brewster Glacier to meet the drinking water needs of all New Zealanders for three years.

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.
On a still and sunny December day when most Kiwis were looking longingly towards the beach, two NIWA researchers staff had their eyes firmly on the Southern Alps.
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.
2020: New Zealand’s 7th-warmest year on record
A dry and mild end to the year
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.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) for the last month (through the 3 rd of January) was 0.84˚C, increasing from 1.03˚C from last month. This likely means that the oceanic La Niña has peaked however, La Niña’s influence on the atmosphere is expected to last for months to come.
Sub-tropical air flows may fuel areas of localised, heavy rainfall that can cause flooding, similar to what was in experienced in parts of the country during late December and early January. It is not possible to pinpoint exactly which regions may experience extreme weather months in advance, hence the need to keep an eye on day to day weather forecasts through the season.
Every day at 8am Hawke’s Bay farmer Robert Buchanan heads out to his rain gauge to measure the rainfall.
In a year that has brought us a bit of everything weather-wise, we’re happy to report that Aotearoa will be on Mother Nature’s good side this holiday period — mostly.
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.
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.
NIWA’s research into forecasting weather systems aims to increase the resilience of New Zealand communities to weather-related hazards.
Significant rainfall amounts of 30-70 mm occurred in western Waikato, Taranaki, Wairoa District, and Wellington, during the past week, with a few locations in these areas receiving up to 100 mm.
A warm and wet spring for much of New Zealand
Wet and warm for much of New Zealand
During November, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (central Pacific) was 1.02˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.54 C. The most unusually cool SSTs have now shifted into the central Pacific.
This year is on track to be one of New Zealand’s top 10 warmest on record, according to NIWA forecasters.
Consistent with moderate La Niña conditions, December 2020 – February 2021 air pressure is forecast to be higher than normal over and to the southeast of the South Island and lower than normal to the northwest of New Zealand. This is expected to be associated with northeasterly air flow anomalies.
A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent.
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.
NIWA forecasters say a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand after sea surface temperatures (SSTs) warmed considerably last month.
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.
In the North Island, moderate rainfall amounts of generally 25-50 mm occurred across much of Northland and Auckland during the past week, with generally 15-30 mm for much of the western North Island and the western Wellington Region. Conversely, the east coast (including Wairarapa) saw generally light rainfall amounts.

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