However, most locations in the upper and central North Island will likely see either little change or small decreases in soil moisture levels during the next week.
Soil moisture increases will be possible in the next week along the West Coast, although minor to moderate decreases are likely in most other parts of the South Island.
And while conditions have improved in most regions, NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll says river flows and soil moisture levels remain below normal for large parts of the North Island and upper South Island while before last weekend drought still persisted in the Coromandel Peninsula.
Soil moisture increases will be likely in the next week along the West Coast and in parts of the upper South Island.
Many parts of the South Island saw small soil moisture increases during the past week, although small decreases were observed in northern Canterbury.While soil moisture increases will be possible in the lower South Island during the next week, expect further decreases across Marlborough and Canterbury.
While moderate soil moisture increases occurred across Tasman, West Coast, and the lower South Island, slight decreases were observed across much of Canterbury.With significant rainfall possible in parts of the North Island, many locations will likely see minor to moderate soil moisture increases during the next week.
With many locations across the North Island expected to see weekly rainfall totals of 25-40 mm (with isolated higher amounts), minor to moderate soil moisture increases will be likely in most areas.
Generally light rainfall amounts across a majority of the North Island during the next week will likely result in soil moisture decreases in many locations, with most existing hotspots strengthening and expanding at least slightly.
Despite this, soil moisture levels generally decreased slightly during the past week, particularly in the Far North and from Waikato to Hawke’s Bay. The driest soils across the North Island, when compared to normal for this time of the year, are generally found in the northern half of the island along with Wairarapa, while the wettest soils for this time of the year are located in Kapiti Coast.
Due to the likelihood of heavy rain from Uesi, soil moisture levels will likely increase during the next week across the western and lower South Island.
Across the North Island, rainfall of generally less than 5 mm during the past week has led to notable soil moisture decreases for nearly all locations and expansion of existing hotspot coverage.
With the anticipated rainfall in the upcoming week, little or no change in soil moisture levels are expected from the south Waikato northbound, along with parts of southern Hawke’s Bay and coastal Wairarapa, while the rest of the North Island are expected to experience slight soil moisture increases.
Across the South Island, substantial rainfall during the past week led to soil moisture increases along the lower West coast, Fiordland, parts of Otago, lower Canterbury along with northern Tasman and Marlborough.
Soil moisture levels are likely to increase along the West Coast and in parts of the lower South Island during the next week, while most other areas will see little change.
In the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased in most locations during the past week as rainfall was generally below normal and above to well above average temperatures were commonplace.
Due to the anticipated below normal rainfall and above average temperatures in the next week, soil moisture levels are expected to decrease farther in many locations across the North Island.
A weekly update describing soil moisture across the country to help assess whether severely to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Due to the anticipated rainfall amounts over the next week, soil moisture levels will likely increase at least slightly across much of the North Island.
Conversely, the lower east coast and the far south (including Hawke’s Bay, coastal Wairarapa and Wellington) saw a soil moisture increase due to rainfall totals above average for the time of year.
However, hotspots remain in place across western Northland and Aupouri Peninsula, a small portion of central Waikato, southern Manawatu-Whanganui, and much of Wairarapa and southern Hawke’s Bay. In the South Island, soil moisture levels generally did not change significantly in the past week.
Outlook and Soil Moisture A slow-moving weather pattern with moist, northerly air flows near New Zealand will most likely cause normal or above normal rainfall across the central and northern South Island and western North Island over the next week.
The driest soils across the North Island compared to normal for this time of the year are found in central Taranaki District and parts of western Waikato where the soil moisture levels continue to be well below average for this time of year.
Outlook and Soil Moisture In the North Island, rainfall amounts during the next week could be highly variable due to uncertainty regarding the interaction between moisture from Tropical Cyclone Oma and a separate area of low pressure expected to form near New Zealand on Sunday and Monday (24-25 February).
Soil moisture levels as of 13 February are below normal for the vast majority of the North Island, with the driest soil compared to normal for this time of year in the New Plymouth District, parts of western coastal Waikato and the Aupouri Peninsula.
Across the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased during the past week with meagre rainfall in the north and east.
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.