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ClimateWatch: How JUNE & WINTER are shaping up (+15 Maps & Video)

We bring you the very latest weather & climate trends on the way for June, July and August – brought to you by and our business partners at IBM.

These forecasts are independently made from a combination of both private and public data sets.

In our last ClimateWatch update we said May would not be your normal May, with drier weather dominating in a number of regions, warmer than average weather for many, and even a drought was officially announced in Waikato and South Auckland.

June sees a return closer to normality – however still not entirely normal. June will lean warmer than average again by 0.5 to 1C nationwide – a trend that has been going for years now. But rainfall returns closer to normal in June and across Winter. The first half of June looks to be wettest with perhaps more high pressure around the Tasman and northern NZ mid to late month.

But the long term IBM data we use for our seasonal forecasts indicates, while warmer than average, rainfall may be closer to normal in most regions this coming winter.

La Nina is still here – but only just. It’s expected to officially fade this winter but has a chance of returning again in spring. If this occurs it would be a triple dip La Nina, which is quite rare. A weak La Nina (as we have now) doesn’t really impact NZ much. We have marine heatwaves carrying on which aren’t related to La Nina but feel similar – some of the stormy weather coming into NZ in early June may well help churn some colder water up to surface and so we might see a return to more normal temperatures in some coastal zones.

Not all international models agree on the future of La Nina – you can see more details below and in the video, but generally speaking it is weakening and may try to come back later in the year. It’s worth noting that only if it’s a moderate to strong La Nina will that have any possible significant impact on NZ’s weather pattern.



Still with us – but only just. Credit: Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
International Models from JUNE to OCTOBER (BoM)
International models mostly agree La Nina is slowly easing this June…. but it may return again by Spring.
Image above for JUNE (BoM).
July (and August is almost identical) – All reliable international models except Meteo France suggest La Nina has finished…but it still leans warmer than average. (BoM)
Sea temperatures are forecast to increase above normal again this spring. Two global models above suggest La Nina returns (Meteo France and the UKMO model). Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and ECMWF from Europe are least confident of La Nina returning.
Credit: BoM


WEEK 1: A big storm over southern NZ while high pressure in Australia is centred further north than many highs have been in previous months. This further northward placement of high pressure allows Southern Ocean storms to “breathe”/expand and move around a lot more, creating a more chaotic (and normal) weather pattern for this time of year.
Week 2 of June kicks of with yet another stormy low near southern NZ. Quite a clean cut map otherwise with highs to the north and lows to the south. No sign of La Nina weather features in this map.
Week 3 – A little more order coming in, but still storm potential for parts of New Zealand and windy late Autumn westerlies for Tasmania. This map shows high pressure mostly dominating northern areas and this allows Southern Ocean storms to brush southern Australia and New Zealand. This also encourages a lot of windy westerlies which can keep northern and eastern areas drier (and milder). Again, no signs of La Nina weather in this map (ie, lows in the tropics, or big easterlies around Australia and NZ).


Soil moisture map for the end of May shows parts of Canterbury and Otago drier than usual, also Waikato and Auckland (both in drought). Some parts of Central NZ are drier than usual and Taranaki depends on who you talk to! Some there say it’s still quite dry, others have had plenty of rain. These maps are tax funded by NZers and generated by Niwa.


(This map for NZ is provided courtesy of the US taxpayers and US Government)
WINTER RAINFALL – Departure from Normal. This shows most of NZ with normal rainfall, or close to it. Green leans a little wetter and orange/yellow a little drier, but still quite close to “normal”.


Yet again NZ continues to lean about 0.5 to 1C above average (based on temperatures historically recorded over winter from the past couple decades). Snow storms and heavy frosts are still possible this winter – but their duration may be more limited.

Marine Heatwaves in some parts of NZ – map courtesy of the Moana Project
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Rob on 4/06/2022 10:49pm

If June has been leaning warmer than average for years now then it’s time to adjust the baseline for what is average. I see the same silly stats put out by Niwa who haven’t adjusted their base line either.

WW Forecast Team on 5/06/2022 12:32am

Baseline is the past 20-30 years or so, that’s fairly short term and reflects some of the modern warming occurring too – to be constantly moving the baseline would destroy the whole point of looking back to see what was previously recorded! Some people just don’t like to hear ‘warmer than average’ regardless of the facts behind it, we remain balanced and simply giving people and small businesses the info they need to plan ahead weather-wise.
Phil D

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