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.
The driest soils compared to normal for this time of the year are found in coastal Wairarapa, where the drying trend continued during the past week.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
Increasing chances for showers or rain in the North Island, except the east, showery and cooler in the South Island. Rain or showers likely continuing in the North Island, improving conditions in the South 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.
The driest soils across the North Island compared to normal for this time of the year are found in eastern Northland, northern Waikato, interior Bay of Plenty, and Tararua District.
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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.
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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).
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 in northern areas, although small improvements were observed in interior Otago, Southland, and Stewart Island.
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