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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.