Drought

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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.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.
Minor to moderate soil moisture decreases across the entire North Island with severe meteorological drought in parts of northern Auckland, Coromandel and southern coast of Hawke's Bay. Drier than normal conditions are still present in the top of the South Island but significant rainfall in the west.
Moderate soil moisture increases in the western North Island and in the Far North, while soil moisture decreases were observed along the east coast and Wairarapa. Many parts of the South Island saw small soil moisture increases during the past week, although small decreases were observed in northern Canterbury.

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NIWA 2017 Annual Climate Summary

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

This is one of the most extreme drought events for Auckland in modern times and similar to one experienced in 1993/94.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.
Minor to moderate soil moisture decreases across the entire North Island with severe meteorological drought in parts of northern Auckland, Coromandel and southern coast of Hawke's Bay. Drier than normal conditions are still present in the top of the South Island but significant rainfall in the west.
Moderate soil moisture increases in the western North Island and in the Far North, while soil moisture decreases were observed along the east coast and Wairarapa. Many parts of the South Island saw small soil moisture increases during the past week, although small decreases were observed in northern Canterbury.

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.
Across the North Island, rainfall during the past week was quite variable. Moderate rainfall occurred in the West Coast and Southland. However, rainfall was generally meagre from Marlborough to southern Canterbury.
Across the North Island, slight soil moisture increases were observed during the past week as a front brought much needed rain to drought affected areas. However, soil moisture levels continue to be well below normal across the vast majority of the island. Across the South Island, soil moisture levels generally increased in the north and decreased in the south during the past week.
Auckland is set to break a climate record on Saturday for the region’s longest dry spell, according to NIWA forecasters.
Across the North Island, the past week once again featured little if any rainfall for most locations. Soil moisture levels in the lower South Island have improved markedly from last week.
Aucklanders should not expect any decent rain for more than 10 days, says NIWA principal scientist and forecaster Chris Brandolino.
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.
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.
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.
Across the North Island, moderate to large increases in soil moisture levels were observed in most locations due to substantial rainfall in the past week. In the South Island, soil moisture levels increased everywhere during the past week, and significantly so in many places.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels decreased everywhere during the past week due to meagre rainfall and above average temperatures. The most significant decreases were observed across the northern half of the North Island, where soil moisture levels are now below normal nearly everywhere from Northland to Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels generally decreased slightly during the past week. In the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased slightly in most locations during the past week, although slight increases were observed in coastal Otago and Southland.
When fire came to Pigeon Valley, Fire and Emergency came to NIWA.
Hotspots in the North Island are currently found in Aupouri Peninsula, interior Manawatu-Whanganui, and interior Hawke’s Bay. South Island hotspots are currently found in interior Marlborough, a small area near Christchurch, coastal southern Canterbury, and a portion of Stewart Island.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels generally changed little during the past week. In the South Island, increases were observed along most of the West Coast, interior Otago, and Marlborough Sounds, while decreases occurred in Stewart Island.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels decreased in big parts of the island during the past week due to meagre rainfall. In the South Island, soil moisture decreases were observed across much of the island.
An increase in soil moisture in many areas across the North Island, including Northland, Auckland, Waikato, eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, and Taranaki. No significant change in the South Island. Outlook is for low to moderate rainfall, countrywide.
Hotspots continue to be found across a large part of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, and interior Bay of Plenty, as well as central Manawatu-Whanganui and Napier south to Wairarapa. South Island hotspots are currently located in a portion of interior Marlborough, eastern Banks Peninsula, south coastal Otago and parts of lower Southland.
Hotspots are now located across the majority of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, and interior Bay of Plenty, as well as central Manawatu-Whanganui and Napier south to Wairarapa. South Island hotspots are now located in a portion of interior Marlborough, eastern Banks Peninsula, and the lower Southland coast.

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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