Across the South Island, soil moisture levels generally decreased slightly in most locations, although small improvements were observed in Tasman and Buller District during the past week.
The driest soils in the North Island compared to normal are currently found in the eastern Far North District, around New Plymouth, and coastal Horowhenua. Across the South Island, soil moisture levels generally increased in Southland and the lower West Coast and remained constant or slightly decreased elsewhere.
Across the North Island, soil moisture levels generally decreased during the past week due to lower than average rainfall for this time of year.
With the rainfall amounts anticipated in the next week, additional soil moisture improvements are likely parts of the central and eastern North Island with the greatest potential for soil moisture increase from the eastern Bay of Plenty through to the Hawke’s Bay regions, particularly in the higher terrain.
In the North Island, another week of substantial rainfall is likely in many areas, which could lead to further soil moisture improvements. With substantial rainfall amounts anticipated in the next week, additional soil moisture improvements are likely in the northern half of the North Island.
Across the South Island, soil moisture levels generally did not change substantially in northern areas this past week, but soils in central and southern areas continued to get much wetter than normal thanks to more heavy rainfall in recent days.
“We said, what if we replaced the urban area of Houston with cropland?” Using a system called the Weather Research and Forecasting model to simulate climate and its changes over a region (as opposed to models with lower resolution but wider geographic scope), that’s actually possible.
With the rain amounts expected in the east and north, soil moisture levels are anticipated to improve in the next week, while soil moisture should stay near constant or slightly decrease in the rest of the island where many locations will see total rain amounts less than 15mm.
NIWA’s Chief Scientist, Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards, Dr Sam Dean says that by making sound choices now, and in the future, farmers can adapt, increase resilience, and reduce risks and costs for themselves and future owners of their farms.
Parts of Queenstown-Lakes District in Otago, the Grey and Buller Districts in the West Coast, northeastern Marlborough, and the Waimate District in southern Canterbury experience well below average rainfall for this time of year, while the rest of the island had near normal rainfall.
The current pattern of higher than normal pressure and prevailing westerlies, bringing generally dry conditions especially in the east, is expected to continue over the next seven days.
A new study finds that warming in the Atlantic Ocean is changing rain patterns in the Amazon Previous researchers who have looked at the Amazon and its changing precipitation have found that the southern part of the rainforest has experienced a long-term increase in rainfall.
Climate shocks such as droughts, floods and variable rainfall, are already causing a rise in hunger, a situation UN economists describe as an “early warning call” for action on food insecurity.
"If we are to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, it is imperative that we accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems and people's livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes," the leaders said.
Yet all parties involved in housing know that cities are facing more rainfall and flooding due to climate change. However, the waterfront area still remains a flood plain, and is still affected by storm surges associated with climate change.
Dr Sam Dean, NIWA's chief scientist of climate, says while farmers are known for their resilience and ability to adapt to changing conditions, climate change will almost certainly go beyond any previous experience.