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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.

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!

During September, the NINO3.4 Index anomaly (central Pacific) was 0.71˚C. The NINO 1+2 Index (eastern Pacific) was 0.76 C.
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.
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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.
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.

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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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