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Aotearoa New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record – well exceeding the previous record which was set just last year.
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.
New Zealand has just experienced its warmest June and July since records began in 1909 and – with one month to go - is on track for its second successive warmest winter on record.

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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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Temperatures are most likely to be above average in the west and east of the South Island and about equally likely to be above average or near average in all other regions. While cold spells and frosts will occur, as is typical during winter, they may be infrequent.
NIWA forecasters say expected clear skies are looking good for spotting the Super Blood Moon on Wednesday night.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during April was -0.30⁰C and the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) was +0.3, both within the neutral range.
Warmer and drier than normal for many
Temperatures are very unlikely to be colder than average for the three months as a whole. Above average or near average temperatures are favoured for all regions except the east of the South Island, where above average temperatures are most likely.
When high winds on the Auckland Harbour Bridge last September caused two trucks to topple over, one into a load-bearing strut, NIWA scientists began thinking about what role they could play in preventing it from happening again.
Final Hotspot Watch update for this season. Weekly Hotspot Watches will return in the spring.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during March was -0.44˚C. This marked the first time since August 2020 that SSTs in this region were in the neutral range. The SOI value for March was +0.1 (in the neutral range).
A month with long dry spells and late season warmth
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.
For April-June, air pressure is expected to be lower than normal to the northwest and higher than normal to the east of the country. Although air flows will be mixed, slightly more easterly quarter winds are favoured for the three month period as a whole.
The NINO3.4 Index anomaly (in the central Pacific) during January was -0.68˚C, entering ENSO “cool neutral” territory (-0.5 to -0.69˚C) for the first time since August 2020.
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 dry month with mixed temperatures.
Dry for much of the country, near average temperatures
During autumn, New Zealand’s climate patterns are expected to become more variable as the impact from a non-traditional central Pacific La Niña starts to ease.
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.
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.
Temperatures are most likely to be above average in the north of the North Island and about equally likely to be near average or above average in all other regions.
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.
2020: New Zealand’s 7th-warmest year on record

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