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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? 

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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.

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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!

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

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? 
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.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during November (through the 28th) was -0.59˚C and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was +1.1, both near the La Niña threshold. The three month average SOI was +0.9.
Summer temperatures are very likely to be above average across the country. Warm overnight temperatures and extended periods of high humidity are likely.
Coastal sea temperatures around Aotearoa New Zealand have risen well above average, NIWA forecasters say.
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.
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.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during October was -0.59˚C. The latest weekly value was -0.80˚C, continuing the trend towards La Niña. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was +0.7 during October and August-October, on the La Niña side of neutral. Overall, this represented an ocean-atmosphere system that was on the verge of La Niña conditions.
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.
5th-warmest October on record
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
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during September was -0.23˚C. Compared to this time last year, conditions are about 0.5˚C warmer. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was +0.8 during September, on the La Niña side of neutral. Notably, the three-month average SOI was +1.0, in La Niña territory.
Temperatures are very likely to be above average across New Zealand. More northeasterly winds are expected to cause periods of warmth and humidity, such as in early October.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during August was -0.17 ̊C. The Southern Oscillation Index was +0.5. While both remained in neutral territory, other indicators trended toward La Niña.
New Zealand’s second consecutive warmest winter on record
A warm finish to winter for most of the country
Aotearoa New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record – well exceeding the previous record which was set just last year.
Spring rainfall is most likely to be below normal in the east of the North Island, near normal in the west of the South Island, and about equally likely to be near normal or below normal in all remaining regions across Aotearoa New Zealand.
A record-equalling top temperature of 23ᵒC in Akaroa on Tuesday prompted a feeling of déjà vu for NIWA forecaster Ben Noll.
A closer eye is now being kept on Stewart Island’s climate thanks to the installation of a new electronic weather station.

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NWP/CFD Modeller and Analyst
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
National Projects Manager - Business Operations
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