Climate

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Final Hotspot Watch update for this season. Weekly Hotspot Watches will return in the spring.
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.
Scientists undertaking the annual glacier snowline survey over the South Island later this month are keeping a watchful eye on a lake that has been forming and disappearing at the junction of the Tasman and Hochstetter glaciers.

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.
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.
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.
Wet end to the year for much of New Zealand.
2019: New Zealand’s 4th-warmest year on record
In the past 10 years, more weather records have been broken than in any other time in New Zealand’s history.
Across the North Island, moderate to large increases in soil moisture levels were observed in many locations due to substantial rainfall in the past week. Across the South Island, substantial rainfall contributed to moderate to large increases in soil moisture levels in the vast majority of the island.
If Santa is quick he can hop on a ridge of high pressure for his big trip to New Zealand very soon.
Across the North Island, notable increases in soil moisture levels were observed in the southwest, from Taranaki south to Wellington.
NIWA's 2020 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).
Across the North Island, notable decreases in soil moisture levels were observed from Northland to Waikato, including the Coromandel Peninsula.
Hottest November on record for New Zealand
Warmest recorded November closes 12th warmest Spring
New Zealand has just experienced its hottest November on record, according to NIWA climate scientists.
Temperatures for the summer season are expected to be above average for New Zealand, apart from the west of the South Island where there are about equal chances for near average or above average temperatures.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels decreased island-wide during the past week due to meagre rainfall and above average temperatures.
Novel handwriting recognition project casts new light on historic weather data.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels increased in many places during the past week. In the South Island, soil moisture levels generally decreased in the east and a slightly increased in the west.
Variable rainfall patterns; cool in the lower South Island.
NIWA and MetService analyses indicate 9 to 12 named tropical cyclones (TC) could occur in the Southwest Pacific basin between November 2019 and April 2020. This expectation for tropical cyclone activity is close to normal for the region, but with elevated activity east of the International Date Line especially during the late season between February and April.
Average temperatures overall with variable rainfall patterns.
For October to December, air pressure is forecast to be lower than normal in the New Zealand region, especially south of the country. This is expected to be associated with a westerly quarter air flow anomaly, particularly during November and December. Occasional easterly quarter winds are possible during October.
Expect to hear a lot more about climate change in the news in the weeks ahead – and a lot about NIWA’s work underpinning the science that is signalling a warmer world right now and its effects in the future.
Variable temperature and rainfall patterns with frequent southwesterly winds.
7th-warmest winter on record and near normal rainfall
The central Pacific El Niño event that arrived in March 2019 has ended, giving way to ENSO neutral conditions, owing to cooling sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Pacific and a neutral Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) during August.

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