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. 

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.
NIWA meteorologists are keeping an eye on an unusual atmospheric phenomenon that is amassing in the polar stratosphere.
New Zealand’s 2nd-warmest July on record.
Despite a sharp cold snap in early August, seasonal temperatures are forecast to be near average or above average for all regions of New Zealand, owing to warmer than average coastal and regional sea surface temperatures.
An unusually dry start to winter.
We’re now halfway through 2019 and NIWA climate data from the first six months tell a dramatic story of weather and climate extremes.
A weak, central Pacific El Niño continued during June as sea surface temperatures (SSTs) remained more than 0.7˚C above average (i.e. the El Niño threshold) for the fourth consecutive month.
New Zealanders are fast becoming aware that our changing climate matters a great deal. NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan explains.

The on-going rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that is fuelling climate change is also driving significant changes in the waters off our coasts.

When fire came to Pigeon Valley, Fire and Emergency came to NIWA.
NIWA is bringing together decision makers and influencers from across New Zealand this month to shape the science we need to respond to our changing climate.
Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher is looking to turn the internationally accepted science of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions upside down—and the rest of the world is watching closely.

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Principal Scientist - Climate

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