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.
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? 

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. 

Today’s low came spinning off the coast of Hawke’s Bay funneling strong winds through the Cook Strait and hitting Wellington region with strong winds before moving on to Taranaki and Auckland this afternoon.

Global setting: June 2017

The tropical Pacific remained in an ENSO (El Niño – Southern Oscillation) neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) during June 2017, but oceanic and atmospheric anomalies were mixed, with some indicators leaning towards El Niño and others towards La Niña.
Now the first six months of the year are done and dusted, NIWA forecasters have been analysing the country’s weather statistics to see where we stand compared to last year’s record breaker.
This year’s winter solstice may start mild, but by the end of the shortest day of the year on Wednesday there will be rain, wind and even some snow.

In the 2010 NIWA Report on the seven-station temperature series (Mullan et al., 2010), two alternatives were offered for the adjustment at January 1945 between the records for Hokitika Town and Hokitika Southside. An offset of -0.52°C (a negative value meaning the new site is colder) was calculated by comparing the changes at Hokitika from 1935-1944 to 1945-1954 with those at four comparison sites. An offset of ‑0.68°C was calculated from a direct comparison between the two Hokitika records from the overlap of 30 months for August 1943 to January 1946.

In April and May 2016, the Martinborough EWS (agent 21938)1 experienced some technical difficulties, and a number of 9 am observations were missing
El Niño accounts for less than 25 percent of the year-to year variance in seasonal rainfall and temperature at most locations in New Zealand, however its effects can be significant.

NIWA provides a free climate information e-newsletter. Sign up to receive our 3 month outlooks, global climate perspective and climate summary.

Northern New Zealand
Kaitaia, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga

This is a sub-tropical climate zone, with warm humid summers and mild winters. Typical summer daytime maximum air temperatures range from 22°C to 26°C, but seldom exceed 30°C. Winter daytime maximum air temperatures range from 12°C to 17°C. Annual sunshine hours average about 2000 in many areas. Tauranga is much sunnier with at least 2200 hours. SW winds prevail for much of the year. Sea breezes often occur on warm summer days. Winter usually has more rain and is the most unsettled time of year.

Find information about New Zealand's temperature record and climate change in our information and resources section.
Hottest, coldest, wettest, driest, sunniest, windiest...find out here which places hold the record for climate extremes in New Zealand
Use our climate data to devise mathematics-orientated exercises for secondary school students. We also provide an overview of New Zealand climate data for use in school projects.

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Key contacts

Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Principal Scientist - Climate

All staff working on this subject

Emeritus Researcher – Atmospheric Radiation
Principal Scientist - Carbon Chemistry and Modelling
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
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Principal Scientist - Research Software Engineering
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NWP/CFD Modeller and Analyst
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Physical Oceanographer
Chief Scientist - Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards
Atmospheric Scientist
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Environmental Monitoring Technician
Environmental Monitoring Technician
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Atmospheric Technician
Manager - Climate, Atmosphere & Hazards
Maori Organisational Development Manager
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Principal Technician - Climate and Risk Applications Developer
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