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.
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“Even though the surface winds were pretty weak, there was a low-level jet above the mountains,” says Craig Clements, a fire weather researcher (and fire chaser ) at San Jose State University.
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.
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.
Soil moisture increases will be likely in the next week along the West Coast and in parts of the upper 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.
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.
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).
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).
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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).
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.
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.
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.