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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.

In the North Island severe meteorological drought coverage has again receded significantly in the past week, although it is still widespread in the Coromandel Peninsula. Meteorological drought remains in place across parts of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, and East Cape. Meteorological drought has completely dissipated across the upper South Island, although widespread dry soils are still present.

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.

Our work

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.

Latest videos

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!

If history is anything to go by, Wellington and Christchurch are the main centres most likely to experience a dry Christmas Day, while Auckland and Hamilton are the least likely. That’s according to a new climate study undertaken by NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll.
Equal second-warmest spring on record for New Zealand
Hot in the south and dry countrywide to end spring
More than 50 “weather detectives” from 20 countries will be in Auckland next week to share their experiences saving snippets of meteorological history that will ultimately help scientists better understand the processes of climate variability and change.
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.
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.
A very dry and warm month for the South Island interior
The tropical Pacific is still officially in a ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) neutral state, but some indicators have leaned more towards La Niña conditions during the course of October 2017.
A large area of high pressure will take up residence east of New Zealand for the next few days, bringing more unusual springtime warmth to parts of the South Island from tomorrow through to late next week, says NIWA forecaster Seth Carrier.
An immense dome of high pressure stretched across the Tasman Sea onto the South Island yesterday, bringing the highest temperatures across New Zealand since April.
A wet month for many and warm on the eastern coasts.
Many atmospheric and oceanic indicators in the tropical Pacific are on the La Niña side of neutral, although not yet strong enough to reach La Niña thresholds.

Outlook: August - October 2017

August – October 2017 temperatures are forecast to be above average for all regions of New Zealand, with high confidence (55-70% chance for above average temperatures). Nevertheless, frosts and cold snaps will occur during the remainder of winter and in early spring. Coastal water temperatures around New Zealand are forecast to remain above average over the next three-month period.

Global setting: July 2017

ENSO (El Niño – Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) continued in the tropical Pacific during July 2017, but this month mixed signals were again present. In particular, some atmospheric patterns have been recently leaning more towards weak La Niña conditions.
ENSO (El Niño – Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) continued in the tropical Pacific during July 2017, but this month mixed signals were again present. In particular some atmospheric patterns have been recently leaning more towards weak La Niña conditions.
The latest atmospheric river over New Zealand delivered one town’s wettest day on record, and broke several other long-held rainfall statistics, according to NIWA data.
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.

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