Hotspot Watch 19 November 2020

Hotspot Watch 19 November 2020

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.

Auckland’s drought most extreme in modern times

Auckland’s drought most extreme in modern times

As weather systems tracked toward New Zealand from the west and north, they lacked moisture because of cooler eastern Indian Ocean seas caused by the IOD.NIWA’s climate change expectations suggest spring average rainfall decreases for northern New Zealand, including Auckland.

Hotspot Watch 7 May 2020

Hotspot Watch 7 May 2020

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.

Drought hits hard, far and wide

Drought hits hard, far and wide

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.

Hotspot Watch 1 May 2020

Hotspot Watch 1 May 2020

Soil moisture increases will be likely in the next week along the West Coast and in parts of the upper South Island.

Hotspot Watch 23 April 2020

Hotspot Watch 23 April 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 16 April 2020

Hotspot Watch 16 April 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 8 April 2020

Hotspot Watch 8 April 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 1 April 2020

Hotspot Watch 1 April 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 26 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 26 March 2020

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that severe meteorological drought coverage has receded significantly in the past week, but it is still found in parts of Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, and East Cape.

Hotspot Watch 18 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 18 March 2020

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that severe meteorological drought currently encompasses most of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, western Bay of Plenty, East Cape, and small portions of interior Manawatu-Whanganui, with meteorological drought in place from Bay of Plenty through the Central Plateau (see NZDI map).

Hotspot Watch 11 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 11 March 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 5 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 5 March 2020

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.

Think Flash Floods Are Bad? Buckle Up for Flash Droughts

Think Flash Floods Are Bad? Buckle Up for Flash Droughts

For scientists to actually quantify how things might get worse in the future thanks to climate change, they need objective measurements.

Hotspot Watch 27 February 2020

Hotspot Watch 27 February 2020

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).

Australia's Bushfires Completely Blasted Through the Models

Australia's Bushfires Completely Blasted Through the Models

“This is perhaps one of the first really big cases where we've seen the real world do something before we've been able to have the capacity to model it properly,” says climate scientist Benjamin Sanderson of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, who cowrote a piece in the Nature Climate Change package.

Hotspot Watch 19 February 2020

Hotspot Watch 19 February 2020

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).

Auckland set to break dry spell record

Auckland set to break dry spell record

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.

Hotspot Watch 12 February 2020

Hotspot Watch 12 February 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 5 February 2020

Hotspot Watch 5 February 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 30 January 2020

Hotspot Watch 30 January 2020

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).

Hotspot Watch 22 January 2020

Hotspot Watch 22 January 2020

In addition, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that the upper North Island has widespread extremely dry soils, and some locations in Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato have reached meteorological drought conditions (see map at bottom).

Hotspot Watch 15 January 2020

Hotspot Watch 15 January 2020

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.

Hotspot Watch 8 January 2020

Hotspot Watch 8 January 2020

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.

It's Not Just You—Wild Swings in Extreme Weather Are Rising

It's Not Just You—Wild Swings in Extreme Weather Are Rising

All that rain meant a bumper crop of grasses and other vegetation, which, as hot and dry conditions returned, likely contributed to a combustible mix of fuels that played a role in the severe fires that have swept California in the past two years .These wild swings from one weather extreme to another are symptomatic of a phenomenon, variously known as “climate whiplash” or “weather whiplash,” that scientists say is likely to increase as the world warms.

2019 so far - a story of weather and climate extremes

2019 so far - a story of weather and climate extremes

“During summer, heatwave conditions scorched our seas for the second consecutive year, while several areas of the country suffered ongoing drought conditions, including Nelson-Tasman where prolonged wildfires occurred and a state of emergency was declared,” says NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll.

FAO - News Article: Unlocking the potential of agricultural innovation to improve farmers’ resilience to drought

FAO - News Article: Unlocking the potential of agricultural innovation to improve farmers’ resilience to drought

17 June 2019, Rome - Unlocking the potential of agricultural innovations, be it simple solutions or satellite-based technologies, will help prevent a drought from turning into famine and forced displacement and to reverse desertification, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

NIWA's Hotspot Watch for 28 February 2019

NIWA's Hotspot Watch for 28 February 2019

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.

NIWA's Hotspot Watch for 20 February 2019

NIWA's Hotspot Watch for 20 February 2019

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).

NIWA's Hotspot Watch for 7 February 2019

NIWA's Hotspot Watch for 7 February 2019

Across the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased during the past week with meagre rainfall in the north and east.