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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.
Please note that this will be the final Hotspot Watch update for this season. Weekly Hotspot Watches will return in the spring.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.

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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.
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.

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2019 New Zealand Climate Summary
NIWA climate scientist Nava Fedaeff presents the NIWA annual climate summary for New Zealand 2019.
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.

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!

A central Pacific El Niño is now occurring as the ocean and atmosphere have been weakly coupled for a third consecutive month. Traditionally, this occurs farther east toward South America and during the early summer season. Mean temperatures are forecast to be above average for all of New Zealand.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels continued to decrease nearly everywhere during the past week. Across the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased nearly everywhere during the past week with little rainfall in the north, south and east.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels decreased nearly everywhere during the past week. In the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased during the past week with meagre rainfall in the north and east.
New Zealand’s 3rd warmest January on record.
The atmospheric circulation around New Zealand is forecast to be characterised by slightly higher than normal pressure to the southwest and southeast of New Zealand and lower pressure than normal to the northeast of the country. Weak easterly-quarter air flows are favoured.
NIWA has crunched the data on this week’s heatwave and come up with the following record breakers
A hot airmass over New Zealand has led to SST warming of 1.0 to 2.0˚C over the last several days. A southerly change is forecast to occur from Friday into Saturday, ending the spell of unusual warmth.
The previous hotspot in the Far North has expanded in size during the past week, now encompassing much of the eastern Far North and the Aupouri Peninsula. A hotspot remains in place across Nelson and nearby portions of Tasman, but no other South Island hotspots are in effect at this time.
Over the past several weeks, the sea surface temperatures have warmed in the New Zealand region. They are well above average in the Tasman Sea and also above average in New Zealand coastal waters.
A fortnightly report, updated over summer, covering sea surface temperatures and anomalies (differences from average) around New Zealand.
NIWA's 2019 storm-tide red alerts are the highest high tide (also known as king tides) dates that Emergency Managers and Coastal Hazard Managers should write in their diaries and keep an eye on adverse weather (low barometric pressure, onshore winds), river levels and sea conditions (waves and swell).
A weekly update describing soil moisture across the country to help assess whether severely to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing these soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.
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.

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