Sea temperatures around the coast have also been warmer than average, modifying colder air masses tracking towards New Zealand.Mr Noll said with the June and July temperatures tracking so far above average, this winter had a firm lead on last year’s figures.
Preliminary analysis by NIWA climate scientists has shown that the recent Canterbury rainfall was so extreme in some inland places that it could be expected to happen only once every 200 years.
As of 24 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that widespread dry to very dry conditions extend from southern Northland to Wellington, excluding Taranaki, and across the east of the North Island, as well as Marlborough, eastern and coastal Canterbury, parts of Otago and Southland.
As of 24 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that widespread dry to very dry conditions are in place across most of the central and eastern North Island, northeastern South Island, as well as parts of Otago and Southland.
The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought is in place in a very small portion of East Cape, while widespread dry-to-extremely dry conditions are in place across nearly all of the North Island, excluding parts of Northland, Coromandel and Taranaki.
The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought is in place in a small portion of East Cape, while widespread dry-to-extremely dry conditions are in place across nearly all of the North Island.
The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that dry-to-very dry soils are found in the northeastern South Island and along parts of eastern Canterbury.
Widespread dry-to-extremely dry soils are in place in the remainder of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, western Bay of Plenty, East Cape, and much of the eastern North Island.
The driest soils across the North Island, when compared to normal for this time of the year, are found in much of Northland, northern and western Waikato, and parts of the east coast.
The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that meteorological drought has emerged in the Aupouri Peninsula, with widespread dry to extremely dry soils in the rest of Northland, Auckland, and northern Waikato.
Once again, significant rainfall occurred in the western North Island during the past week, with widespread amounts of greater than 50 mm from southern Waikato to Kapiti Coast.
Much of the South Island saw small to moderate soil moisture increases during the past week, also small decreases occurred from Clutha District to Invercargill.Due to the expected rainfall over the next week, the western and lower North Island will likely see additional soil moisture increases.
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.
Significant soil moisture changes are not expected during the next week, although small increases may occur in the West Coast and lower South Island, with small decreases possible from central Canterbury to Marlborough.
Soil moisture decreases were observed across most of the North Island during the past week, with the most substantial losses occurring from lower Northland through to Bay of Plenty and East Cape.
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.
Meanwhile, the wettest soils for this time of the year are located from Manawatu-Whanganui to Hawke’s Bay. Despite the general drying of soils during the past week, no hotspots are currently found across the North Island.
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 likely in the next week along the West Coast and in parts of the upper South Island.
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.