Much of the South Island saw small to moderate soil moisture increases during the past week, also small decreases occurred from Clutha District to Invercargill.Due to the expected rainfall over the next week, the western and lower North Island will likely see additional soil moisture increases.
Due to the expected rainfall over the next week, much of the North Island will likely see at least small soil moisture increases, with some locations possibly seeing moderate increases.
Soil moisture decreases were observed across most of the North Island during the past week, with the most substantial losses occurring from lower Northland through to Bay of Plenty and East Cape.
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.
In the North Island, many locations received moderate to substantial rainfall amounts ranging between about 30-60 mm, including much of Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay. Meanwhile, amounts less than 30 mm were observed across eastern Northland, Auckland, Manawatu-Whanganui, and Wairarapa.
Meanwhile, the wettest soils for this time of the year are located from Manawatu-Whanganui to Hawke’s Bay. Despite the general drying of soils during the past week, no hotspots are currently found across the North 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.
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.
Two International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expeditions to the Hikurangi subduction zone off the east coast of the North Island, undertaken in 2017 and 2018, mark the first time scientists from around the world had studied and directly sampled rocks from the source region of slow slip events using ocean floor scientific drilling methods.
As of 8 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that all of the upper North Island is experiencing severe meteorological drought, along with East Cape and interior Manawatu-Whanganui, with meteorological drought in many other locations.
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.
The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that all of the upper North Island as well as East Cape are experiencing severe meteorological drought, while the southern Waikato and eastern Taranaki to Manawatu-Whanganui and western Bay of Plenty are experiencing meteorological drought (see NZDI map).
The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that the upper North Island has widespread severe meteorological drought, with meteorological drought also affecting central Waikato to Manawatu-Whanganui as well as East Cape (see NZDI map below).
The New Zealand Drought Index ( ) shows severe meteorological drought is widespread across Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato.The summer of 2012-13 featured one of the worst droughts in decades for parts of Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, and the western South Island.
In addition, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that the upper North Island (northern Waikato northbound) has widespread meteorological drought conditions.In the North Island, mostly dry conditions will continue during next week and rainfall is expected to be below normal for the time of year.
In addition, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that the upper North Island (northern Waikato northbound) has widespread meteorological drought conditions, and in fact, the Aupouri peninsula and pockets of Great Barrier Island have recently reached severe meteorological drought conditions (see map at bottom).
As of 12 January, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that the upper North Island continues to have widespread very dry to extremely dry soils, and some locations could approach meteorological drought conditions with additional dry weather in the coming week.
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.
The driest soils across the North Island compared to normal for this time of the year are now found in southern Northland, northern Auckland, much of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki District, and coastal Wairarapa.
Across the North Island, moderate to large increases in soil moisture levels were observed in most locations due to substantial rainfall in the past week.
NIWA forecaster Ben Noll says much warmer than average temperatures will spill onto the South Island on Saturday, and continue on Sunday and Monday.The heat will peak in the North Island on Sunday and Monday, but above average temperatures are likely to persist for much of the first 10 days of the month.
Hotspots in the North Island are currently found in Aupouri Peninsula, interior Manawatu-Whanganui, and interior Hawke’s Bay. In the South Island, only subtle soil moisture changes were observed in the past week.
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.