Climate

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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.
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.

Our work

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.
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.
NIWA's forecasting services are underpinned by experienced meteorologists and in-house proprietary modelling.
A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.
New Zealand’s warmest winter on record.
A warm and dry finish to winter.
During August, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) was 0.42˚ C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.85 C. Upper oceanic heat content remained lower than normal in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific with a substantial decrease observed in the east central part of the basin. Overall , the pattern is well aligned with a developing La Niña event.
September – November 2020 air pressure is forecast to be higher than normal to the east and lower than normal to the northwest of New Zealand. This is expected to be associated with La Niña-like northeasterly air flow anomalies.
NIWA is using serious games to look at problems holistically, support understanding and give a framework for climate change adaptation decision-making.
NIWA’s South Island snow and ice monitoring stations have confirmed what many skiers have been talking about: winter has been dry and snow coverage has been poor. In fact, several sites have recorded half their typical snow depth for this time of year.
NIWA works with businesses, organisations, and central and local government to help them understand their climate risks, plan for adaptation, and meet the regulatory requirements for the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
If we can understand how the Earth’s climate has changed in the past, we can use that information to understand how it might change in the future.
Were there any terms you didn't know in any of these lessons? We explain some of them here - alphabetically from anemometer to wind speed.
Glaciers are beautiful to see and are a majestic, pristine part of our natural landscape. But what exactly is a glacier, and how do they work?
Very wet in Northland, dry for many remaining areas
Weather tells you what to wear each day, while climate tells you what types of clothes to have in your closet.
During July, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) was +0.04˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.72 C, decreasing from 0.57 C in June.
We can explore how the world may change due to climate change by creating climate models.
During periods of northeasterly winds, the threat for sub-tropical low pressure systems capable of producing heavy rainfall, similar to those experienced in late June and mid-July, is elevated, particularly in the north and east of the North Island.
Some of the most striking images of lockdown around the world have been the blue skies of cities ordinarily choking in smog. From New Delhi to Los Angeles, Beijing to Paris, the changes were so remarkable they were visible from space.
New Zealand’s climate can be defined as ‘temperate’. However, every so often we experience extremes.
Coronavirus border restrictions mean six NIWA staff face four straight months at sea in a bid to keep an international ocean research project afloat.
This lesson will explore the use of Māori environmental indicators [tohu] to anticipate local weather and climate conditions.
Once in a while the weather becomes much more dangerous – what meteorologists call severe weather.
When we talk about the future, we often talk about climate change.
The climate of New Zealand is incredibly varied for a country of its size.
Have you ever wondered what makes the climate during one season more extreme than another?

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Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Principal Scientist - Climate

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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Emeritus Researcher – Atmospheric Radiation
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
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