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Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month.
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.
High waves pounding Wellington’s south coast today are being caused by a deep area of low pressure passing the Chatham Islands, according to NIWA forecaster Ben Noll.

Latest videos

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.

Weather Tips - What is El Niño?

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!

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.
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.
Weather forecasters will not be affected by Vodafone’s 5G network initial roll-out in New Zealand.
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.
We’re here already – the shortest day is tomorrow (Saturday) and after this, it gets progressively lighter out to the longest day of the year in December.
When fire came to Pigeon Valley, Fire and Emergency came to NIWA.
Demands for new weather and climate predictions are unprecedented as nations struggle to understand their exposure to risk from severe climatic events.
If you’re planning a visit to the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek this week, here’s what you can expect from the weather.
Although El Niño is forecast to continue during the upcoming three-month period, it may weaken later in 2019. Winter temperatures are forecast to be above average in the east of the South Island and to be above average or near average in all remaining regions.
Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, and NIWA CEO John Morgan recently signed an agreement that will see NIWA’s scientists working closely with Emirates Team New Zealand over the next few years.
A weak, central Pacific El Niño continued during April, as patterns of enhanced rainfall persisted in the vicinity of the International Dateline. More westerly quarter winds than normal. Tasman Sea surface temperatures may influence several spells of unseasonable warmth through the season, particularly in eastern areas, contributed to by frequent westerly air flows.
Dry for most locations, drought for upper South Island
Weather and climate experts from around the world are meeting in Wellington next week to discuss the critical need for accurate forecasting to cope with a changing climate.
A central Pacific El Niño is now occurring as the ocean and atmosphere have been weakly coupled for a third consecutive month. Traditionally, this occurs farther east toward South America and during the early summer season. Mean temperatures are forecast to be above average for all of New Zealand.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels decreased nearly everywhere during the past week. In the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased during the past week with meagre rainfall in the north and east.
New Zealand’s 3rd warmest January on record.
NIWA has crunched the data on this week’s heatwave and come up with the following record breakers
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.



All staff working on this subject

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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