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Latest news

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.
Every day at 8am Hawke’s Bay farmer Robert Buchanan heads out to his rain gauge to measure the rainfall.
In a year that has brought us a bit of everything weather-wise, we’re happy to report that Aotearoa will be on Mother Nature’s good side this holiday period — mostly.

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.
Last updated: 
11 August 2020
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.
Massive increases in computing power are allowing NIWA scientists to not only analyse more data, faster, but also to envisage completely new experiments.
Improved climate information for Vanuatu
NIWA and Vanuatu's Meteorology and Geohazards Department have installed a network of fully automatic weather stations across Vanuatu.
How a regional climate history helped save a farm and cure depression
Weak La Niña conditions continued in the tropical Pacific during March 2018, but trends in low-level winds and in sub-surface ocean temperatures during the month indicate that the event is coming to an end.
New Zealand is situated in the latitudes of prevailing westerlies and exposed coastal locations often experience strong winds, with generally lighter winds elsewhere.
Sea surface temperatures in the southern Tasman Sea rose to exceptionally high levels in late 2017 and early 2018. These temperatures were far above any others previously observed at that time of year in the region, and extended west from New Zealand to Tasmania and mainland southeast Australia.

Twice a day at 1pm and 8.30 pm Sean Hartery, NIWA, and Peter Kuma, University of Canterbury, head for the Fantail at the very back of the ship to release their weather balloons.

Climate scientists and glaciologists are taking to the skies this week to find out how New Zealand’s glaciers are faring following this summer’s record-breaking warmth.
Two ex-tropical cyclones impact New Zealand
New Zealand's hottest summer on record.
With La Niña’s influence waning over the next three month period, New Zealand’s regional climate over March – May 2018 is expected to be driven by the warmer than average ocean waters that are present around the country.
Despite a sub-tropical storm and two ex-tropical cyclones, this summer is about to become the hottest in history.
Auckland region climate change projections and impacts | Auckland Council

Auckland Council and Council Controlled Organisations commissioned NIWA to provide climate change projections, including high-resolution maps for the Auckland Region.

Apart from waning La Niña conditions, New Zealand’s regional climate over the next three month period is expected to be dominated by the very warm ocean waters present around the country, in the Tasman Sea, and in the Southwest Pacific Ocean.
January 2018 was New Zealand’s hottest month on record (since 1909) using NIWA’s seven-station series. Dozens of locations observed their record or near-record high mean temperature for January.
NIWA 2017 Annual Climate Summary

Chris Brandolino (Principal Scientist - Forecasting) presents the 2017 Annual Climate Summary. See the detailed Annual Climate Summary.

A very warm and dry month
A year of weather extremes across New Zealand
Four seasons with a little bit of everything. It started with the bummer summer… then came the fires, rain, flooding and a very weird November. But it’s all in a year of weather as NIWA wraps up the seasonal highlights.
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.

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Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Principal Scientist - Climate

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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Emeritus Researcher – Atmospheric Radiation
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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