Seen a stunning sunrise or sunset lately? The Tongan volcano may be the cause

Seen a stunning sunrise or sunset lately? The Tongan volcano may be the cause

To understand these sightings, the forecasting team contacted their colleagues at the Lauder Atmospheric Research Station in Central Otago, who confirmed that their ground-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) instrument has been detecting unusual spikes in aerosols in the stratosphere, at around 20-25 kilometres above New Zealand.

In the snow: new tool to advise New Zealanders of snow conditions

In the snow: new tool to advise New Zealanders of snow conditions

NIWA’s Snow and Ice Network (SIN) provides information on snowfall, depth of snowpack, snow melt and climate for ten alpine sites across New Zealand, including Mueller Hut above Mount Cook Village.

Why Was the Tonga Eruption So Massive? Scientists Have New Clues

Why Was the Tonga Eruption So Massive? Scientists Have New Clues

A team of scientists from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, or NIWA, recently observed something different.The slopes of the underwater volcano are still largely as they were before the eruption; the same features still contour the surrounding seafloor.

Hotspot Watch 20 May 2022

Hotspot Watch 20 May 2022

As of 17 May, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of Waikato, northern Manawatū-Whanganui, much of the upper South Island, Banks Peninsula, and much of Otago.

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

NIWA’s Freshwater Species Programme Leader Dr Paul Franklin said World Fish Migration Day, on May 21, is a good time to remind New Zealanders of the challenges migratory fish face, and also the research that is underway to provide solutions.

Hotspot Watch 13 May 2022

Hotspot Watch 13 May 2022

As of 10 May, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of Waikato and Manawatū-Whanganui, and much of the upper South Island and Otago.

Hotspot Watch 6 May 2022

Hotspot Watch 6 May 2022

As of 3 May, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of the upper South Island, much of Otago, eastern Southland, and Stewart Island.

Hotspot Watch 29 April 2022

Hotspot Watch 29 April 2022

As of 26 April, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in parts of the upper South Island, West Coast, Otago, and Southland.

Easy access to environmental research data

Easy access to environmental research data

New Zealand’s seven Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) have created the National Environmental Data Centre (NEDC) website to make the environmental information held by CRIs more accessible to all New Zealanders.

Hotspot Watch 22 April 2022

Hotspot Watch 22 April 2022

As of 19 April, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are now located in parts of the West Coast, central Otago, and northern Southland.

Glaciers continue to shrink this year, says NIWA

Glaciers continue to shrink this year, says NIWA

Dr Lauren Vargo from Victoria University of Wellington says the retreat that we're seeing is due to the majority of New Zealand’s glaciers losing mass most years over the past decade.

Hotspot Watch 24 March 2022

Hotspot Watch 24 March 2022

As of 22 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry or very dry conditions are located in Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, western Bay of Plenty, coastal Otago, and much of Southland.

Hotspot Watch 11 March 2022

Hotspot Watch 11 March 2022

As of 8 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry or very dry conditions are now located in parts of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, coastal Otago, and much of Southland.

Mean heat: Marine heatwaves to get longer and hotter by 2100

Mean heat: Marine heatwaves to get longer and hotter by 2100

New research from the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate and NIWA shows that New Zealand could experience very long and “very severe” marine heatwaves by the end of the century.

Hotspot Watch 4 March 2022

Hotspot Watch 4 March 2022

As of 2 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry or very dry conditions are now located across much of western Northland, Auckland, northwest Waikato, Southland and the pockets of the coastal fringe of Clutha.

Hotspot Watch 25 February 2022

Hotspot Watch 25 February 2022

As of 22 February, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry or very dry conditions are now located across much of Northland, Auckland, and Waikato.

Tropical seafloor secrets revealed

Tropical seafloor secrets revealed

NIWA scientists and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) have used satellite technology to chart the Cook Islands’ seafloor in never-before-seen detail.The work was done as part of Seabed 2030 - a collaborative project to produce a definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030.

Hotspot Watch 17 February 2022

Hotspot Watch 17 February 2022

As of 15 February, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are now located across the upper and central North Island.As of 15 February, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are now located across the upper and lower South Island.

Hotspot Watch 10 February 2022

Hotspot Watch 10 February 2022

As of 7 February, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are now located across the upper and lower South Island.

How we won the 36th America’s Cup

How we won the 36th America’s Cup

During the 2021 America’s Cup, NIWA’s supercomputer, the largest in New Zealand, was used to analyse past environmental conditions (hindcasting), predicting future weather (forecasting) and modelling ocean currents in the Hauraki Gulf – all to an extremely high resolution.

Surveying scallop populations with artificial intelligence

Surveying scallop populations with artificial intelligence

To ensure the fishing surveys have the least impact possible, NIWA has been working with the University of Canterbury and Fisheries New Zealand to develop a non-invasive method of counting scallop populations.

Hotspot Watch 27 January 2022

Hotspot Watch 27 January 2022

As of 25 January, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are now located across nearly all of the upper North Island, Bay of Plenty, parts of Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. In addition, very dry or extremely dry conditions are located in much of Northland, Auckland, and Waikato, while a small area of meteorological drought has emerged in northwest Northland.

Hotspot Watch 20 January 2022

Hotspot Watch 20 January 2022

As of 17 January, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map shown below indicates that dry conditions are now located in Nelson, southern and interior Otago, eastern Southland, and Stewart Island.

This Recyclable Boat Is Made From Wool

This Recyclable Boat Is Made From Wool

Changing tastes and the popularity of man-made fibers means there’s a surfeit of strong wool in New Zealand—an estimated 1 million tons is stored waiting for the prices to improve—but 26-year-old inventor Logan Williams, and his company Shear Edge, is hoping to make the most of this increasingly ignored material by chopping it up and using it to make boats, knives, fencing, and just about anything that’s currently made using plastic.

Hotspot Watch 13 January 2022

Hotspot Watch 13 January 2022

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are now located in southern Otago, eastern Southland, and Stewart Island.

Hotspot Watch 6 January 2022

Hotspot Watch 6 January 2022

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions have emerged in northern Kaipara Harbour and eastern Waikato.As of 4 January, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry-to-very dry conditions are located in parts of Southland, Raikura/Stewart Island and Clutha.

The great debate: when does summer begin?

The great debate: when does summer begin?

While both the astronomical and meteorological definitions are valid, NIWA forecasters have turned to Mother Nature’s weather patterns, looking at the warmest 90-day period of the year to provide another perspective on when summer in Aotearoa New Zealand begins.

NIWA celebrates its Science New Zealand Award winners for 2021

NIWA celebrates its Science New Zealand Award winners for 2021

Video of Science New Zealand Awards 2021 - Individual - Lifetime Award - Dr Malcolm Clark.Video of Science New Zealand Awards 2021 - Early Career Researcher Award - Alex Geddes.

Hotspot Watch 16 December 2021

Hotspot Watch 16 December 2021

As of 14 December, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry conditions are located in Wairarapa along with coastal areas from Marlborough to central Canterbury.

Hotspot Watch 10 December 2021

Hotspot Watch 10 December 2021

During the past week, the former hotspot located in Wairarapa dissipated, but new hotspots formed in southern Northland, northern Auckland, a small area near Whakatāne, and southern Hawke’s Bay. The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry and very dry conditions are now located in Wairarapa as of 8 December.

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