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.
Stories of tremendous forest fires, huge storm events, and suffocating heatwaves have dominated headlines over the past few years. We instinctively feel that our weather is getting wilder. Are we finally living through those climate change warnings we’ve heeded for decades?
This Wednesday 22nd December, the sun reaches its highest position in the sky. It will be the Southern Hemisphere’s longest day of the year. Also known as the summer solstice, it marks the start of astronomical summer. But hang on, didn’t summer already begin? 
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 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.
Clouds over the ocean, and how they trap or emit radiation from the sun, are partly influenced by the biology, biogeochemistry and physics of the surface ocean below.
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.

Latest videos

Why was 2021 New Zealand’s warmest year on record?
It's official, 2021 was Aotearoa New Zealand’s warmest year on record.
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 2021-April 2022
The NIWA and MetService assessment of named tropical cyclone (TC) activity indicates 9 to 12 named TCs could occur in the Southwest Pacific basin between November 2021 and April 2022. The seasonal outlook is for normal to slightly above normal activity in terms of overall named TCs in the region.
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. 

Wet end to the year for the North Island and north-eastern South Island
Annual Climate Summary for 2018

New Zealand’s equal-2nd warmest year on record. Annual temperatures were above average across the majority of New Zealand, including much of the North Island as well as the western and southern South Island. See complete 2018 Annual Climate Summary details.

2018: New Zealand’s equal-2nd warmest year on record
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels either decreased slightly or remained the same during the past week. Across the South Island, soil moisture remained near normal or above normal in the central and eastern part of the island during the past week while areas in the west have near normal or below normal soil moisture.
Very wet for eastern and inland parts of the South Island
Spring 2018: a season of weather swings for New Zealand
Mean summer temperatures are about equally likely to be near or above average. Near normal summer rainfall is likely for most regions; however, the north of the North Island has about equal chances for below normal or near normal rainfall and the west of the South Island has about equal chances for above normal or near normal rainfall.
Weather Tips - What is El Niño?

El Niño. We hear it being brought up in the news quite a bit, but what does it actually mean? No, it's not a type of yoghurt!

An abnormal El Niño weather event is looking likely for New Zealand over summer, according to NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll.
CliFlo is the web system that provides access to New Zealand's National Climate Database.
A dry month for much of New Zealand
The November 2018 – January 2019 atmospheric circulation around New Zealand is forecast to be characterised by higher pressure than normal around the country and lower pressure than normal to the southwest.
SOUTHERN - LONG  - v2
NIWA climate scientists are calling for volunteers to unearth weather secrets from the past – including those recorded by members of Captain Robert Scott’s doomed trip to the South Pole in 1912.
NIWA climate scientists are calling for volunteers to unearth weather secrets from the past – including those recorded by members of Captain Robert Scott’s doomed trip to the South Pole in 1912.
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Outlook: Near-normal tropical cyclone activity overall during November-April, but increased east and reduced west of the Date Line; multiple severe tropical cyclones expected.
A wet start to spring for some but dry for most
The consensus from international models is for the tropical Pacific to transition toward El Niño over the next three-month period (68% chance over October – December 2018). The probability for El Niño conditions being established remains high until autumn 2019, with a 71% chance for El Niño conditions over the April – June 2019 period.
A NIWA-led team has today been awarded a multi-million dollar research grant that will help drive major advances in understanding of New Zealand’s carbon emissions and uptake
A cool start to spring is about to be replaced by a sudden burst of warmth, according to NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll.
ENSO-neutral conditions continued across the tropical Pacific during July 2018. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was in the neutral range, with a preliminary value of +0.2 for July 2018. Surface ocean waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific continued to warm during July but remained in the neutral range. The subsurface ocean remained warmer than average in the eastern equatorial Pacific during July, but anomalies weakened slightly compared to June.
It's a story of the warm and the wet.
A dry start to winter for much of the South Island.
El Nino – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions continued across the tropical Pacific during June 2018. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was slightly negative at about -0.7 during the past 30 days (on the El Niño side of neutral). The central equatorial Pacific experienced warming sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for the third consecutive month and was slightly above average for the time of year.
Spare a thought for Fieldays exhibitors putting the final touches to their stands tomorrow – it’s going to be wet.
A warm start to autumn, then cooler and unsettled at times.

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