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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.
NIWA’s South Island snow and ice monitoring stations have confirmed what many skiers have been talking about: winter has been dry and snow coverage has been poor. In fact, several sites have recorded half their typical snow depth for this time of year.
Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month.

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NIWA Weather forecasts and rainfall maps for New Zealand towns and cities.

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.

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.
During September, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (central Pacific) was 0.71˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.76 C. Upper oceanic heat content remained lower than normal with continued decreases observed in the east central part of the Pacific basin since August. Heat content continued to be higher than normal in the western Pacific. Overall, the pattern is consistent with La Niña conditions.
Dry for northern North Island, wet for much of South Island.
Air pressure is forecast to be higher than normal to the southeast and lower than normal to the north of New Zealand. This is expected to be associated with developing La Niña-like northeasterly air flow anomalies, although a westerly flow anomaly, which may be strong at times, is favoured to continue for much of October.
During August, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) was 0.42˚ C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.85 C. Upper oceanic heat content remained lower than normal in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific with a substantial decrease observed in the east central part of the basin. Overall , the pattern is well aligned with a developing La Niña event.
September – November 2020 air pressure is forecast to be higher than normal to the east and lower than normal to the northwest of New Zealand. This is expected to be associated with La Niña-like northeasterly air flow anomalies.
NIWA’s South Island snow and ice monitoring stations have confirmed what many skiers have been talking about: winter has been dry and snow coverage has been poor. In fact, several sites have recorded half their typical snow depth for this time of year.
Very wet in Northland, dry for many remaining areas
During July, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) was +0.04˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.72 C, decreasing from 0.57 C in June.
During periods of northeasterly winds, the threat for sub-tropical low pressure systems capable of producing heavy rainfall, similar to those experienced in late June and mid-July, is elevated, particularly in the north and east of the North Island.
Sometimes wind can feel like a bit of a mystery because we can feel it, but not see it.
During June, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) was 0.12˚C. Upper oceanic heat content decreased notably across the east central equatorial Pacific.
Warm start to winter for much of the country
Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month.
Rainfall is about equally likely to be near normal or below normal in the west of the South Island, about equally likely to be near normal or above normal in the east of the North Island, and most likely to be near normal in all other regions.
Is today sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, or stormy? All of those things are part of the weather...
Developed for teachers, these lessons offer intermediate age students an engaging and interactive way to learn about Aotearoa’s wild and mild weather and climate patterns.
Warm and dry for the middle to lower South Island
A dry autumn for most areas of the country.
During May the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) for May was +0.01˚C, with upper oceanic heat content continuing to decrease across the equatorial Pacific.
Oceanic ENSO-neutral conditions will very likely persist over the next three months. The long-standing climate drivers that have contributed to dryness over much of NZ are expected to influence our weather for at least the first half of the winter season.
Trade winds during April were slightly stronger than normal along the equator. This pattern is expected to continue over the next 1 2 months, most likely leading to continued cooling in the west central Pacific.

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Principal Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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National Projects Manager
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