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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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NIWA’s research into forecasting weather systems aims to increase the resilience of New Zealand communities to weather-related hazards.

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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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A dry and mild end to the year
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) for the last month (through the 3 rd of January) was 0.84˚C, increasing from 1.03˚C from last month.
Sub-tropical air flows may fuel areas of localised, heavy rainfall that can cause flooding, similar to what was in experienced in parts of the country during late December and early January.
A vital network of rainfall and climate station volunteers across Aotearoa send their weather measurements to NIWA every month where they are used by scientists researching New Zealand’s climate.
In a year that has brought us a bit of everything weather-wise, we’re happy to report that Aotearoa will be on Mother Nature’s good side this holiday period — mostly.
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 research into forecasting weather systems aims to increase the resilience of New Zealand communities to weather-related hazards.
Significant rainfall amounts of 30-70 mm occurred in western Waikato, Taranaki, Wairoa District, and Wellington, during the past week, with a few locations in these areas receiving up to 100 mm.
A warm and wet spring for much of New Zealand
Wet and warm for much of New Zealand
During November, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (central Pacific) was 1.02˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.54 C. The most unusually cool SSTs have now shifted into the central Pacific.
This year is on track to be one of New Zealand’s top 10 warmest on record, according to NIWA forecasters.
A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent.
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 forecasters say a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand after sea surface temperatures (SSTs) warmed considerably last month.
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, moderate rainfall amounts of generally 25-50 mm occurred across much of Northland and Auckland during the past week, with generally 15-30 mm for much of the western North Island and the western Wellington Region. Conversely, the east coast (including Wairarapa) saw generally light rainfall amounts.
During October, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (central Pacific) was 0.86˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.56 C. Upper oceanic heat content continued to decrease in the east central part of the Pacific basin.
November 2020 – January 2021 air pressure is forecast to be higher than normal over and to the southeast and lower than normal to the northwest of New Zealand. This is expected to be associated with northeasterly air flow anomalies, a signature of La Niña.
A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent.
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.

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