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ClimateWatch: How JULY is shaping up (& beyond) + Video & 13 Maps.

“Variety” is the key word summing up NZ’s weather over the coming month, which means it may be quite similar to June. We have a real mixture of large highs moving in at different latitudes, and some big lows in the mix too. Some of these lows will directly impact NZ, others brush by us. 

Either way the set up for the month ahead is one of variety with injections of cold and warm, sun and cloud, wet and dry. This set up is often considered quite “healthy” for the economy and for growers and farmers.

We’re also in a “La Nina Watch” – which means La Nina may come back in full force later this year, but it’s still marginal according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in Australia.

ClimateWatch updates are brought to you by our business partner IBM and

Originally published Friday July 1.


La Nina has officially ended – but now we’re in an official La Nina Watch (meaning it may come back this spring!)

Credit: BoM Climate Driver update
Credit: BoM Climate Driver update


Areas in red show sea temperatures above normal in many parts of NZ. This continues on a pattern we’ve been seeing all year with various Marine Heatwaves showing up around both main islands. Warmer sea conditions limit snow to sea level and tends to keep coastal areas a tad milder overnight. It can also sometimes help fuel more showers and cloud in coastal areas too. Map courtesy: Moana Project
Current Sea Surface Temperatures around NZ – Map courtesy of the Moana Project. More details here:


Week 1 kicks off with a lot of high pressure from Australia and north of NZ. However, what you can’t see on this map is the developing low near eastern Australia, which will bring wind and rain to NSW in July’s first weekend and early next week – then drift into NZ before Week 1 is complete. Check your local or forecast for more details in NZ.
Week 2 – While not yet locked in, there are signs of a large area of low pressure in the Tasman Sea or north of NZ which will drift in with rain and wind. The high over the lower South Island may well be the main guiding force for that northern low…which is why it’s not locked in yet. Based on this current set up, northern NZ may receive over 100mm in some places over the next two weeks.
Week 3 – Shows plenty of variety with a good mixture of lows and highs and a healthy mixture of wind flows, meaning some days have mild northerlies or westerlies and others will have colder southerlies and easterlies. Variety in winter is usually a good thing for most farmers and growers as it keeps the rain coming but with sunny spells + a good variety of mild and cold days/nights.


We’re not so sure about the dry area in eastern Waikato – recent heavy rain there has seen ponding and flooding on some farms, but there perhaps may be some isolated dry spots that missed out. The North Island is actually looking the best it’s looked in years for this time of year, while the eastern South Island shows the classic westerly set up that brings drier than usual conditions to the east. Map Credit: NZ taxpayers & Niwa.


Rainfall to July 15 – The Big Picture.
Rainfall to July 15 (GFS) – NZ only.
IBM / WeatherWatch’s ‘Departure from Normal’ Rainfall Map shows July is close to average nationwide. While it shows some green and yellow, it’s still fairly close to normal rainfall (+/- about 12mm).
Long range out to the end of September and it looks like a continuation of the same pattern we’ve seen in the NZ area for the past month. Most of the country has normal rainfall, or close to it. Fiordland and the Lakes District may be drier than usual, but only slightly. Credit: IBM /


With so much variety most places should have a good mix of sun/dry and cold/wet this coming month. The chaotic more ‘neutral’ pattern often looks like this for NZ.

The milder marine conditions and the occasional sub-tropical or northern/western airflow will keep NZ leaning warmer than average (a trend we’ve seen stuck for a couple years now). Even the cold blasts are appearing quite short lived, but are in the mix on a regular basis.

Of course Climate Outooks are a little different to Weather Forecasts. With a Climate Outlook we tend to look for patterns and trends with air-pressure and rainfall. At this time of year things can change fast and a major snowy southerly or a bigger rain event from the north are both always possible. Some of NZ’s biggest snow storms can occur in August and September even as temperatures start to show signs of lifting as the days become longer.

Keep up to date with your hyper-local & news & weather so you’re better prepared. Have a great July! Our next ClimateWatch update will be issued Monday August 1.

  • / / IBM


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