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.
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.
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).
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 North Island, moderate to large increases in soil moisture levels were observed in most locations due to substantial rainfall in the past week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.