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NEW: ClimateWatch – NZ’s February outlook (+9 Maps & Video)

La Nina has peaked but the tropical cyclone season is only just approaching it’s peak. High pressure continues to dominate New Zealand bringing a very dry start to the month of February in most, if not all, regions.

This report is brought to you by and the help of IBM New Zealand.


Feb 2 – The Situation
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

La Nina has peaked but is still with us. It’s not overly powerful and is slowly slipping back to Neutral. and said in spring 2020 that this La Nina may not be very powerful and may not produce rain for New Zealand as we might expect. It’s disappointing to see that forecast actually eventuate with many in the upper and eastern North Island wanting more rain. says droughts are now forming across parts of New Zealand.

There are three main themes in the weather pattern coming up:

  1. The tropics are HIGHLY active and ripe for cyclone formation.
  2. High pressure increasing south of Australia and in southern NZ following a stormy January.
  3. A far more settled Southern Ocean weather pattern than last month

New Zealand still looks to be dominated by high pressure this month – but there are a few cracks in the highs which might allow some wet weather in, especially mid month for a time while NZ is “between highs”.


White boxes indicate areas with least amount of rainfall. The one in central Australia has some areas with 0mm. The blue patch near Northland, NZ has just 1 – 10mm over the next two weeks (unless a cyclone manages to break through).
Data via: GFS / America
Soil moisture levels, generally speaking, are 10 to 40% of capacity as NZ continues to dry out. Eastern NZ, which has been windy and hot lately, is very dry, as too is the upper North Island.


Both islands lean warmer than average this month, especially the lower half of the South Island compared to normal.

Our next update (for March) will be issued on Monday March 1st.


David Pye on 2/02/2021 2:12am

Hi looking into your crystal ball do you think we are heading into another drought like last year cheers.

WW Forecast Team on 2/02/2021 8:23pm

Hi David, unfortunately yes we may be in some areas. We’ve started talking about drought more now. If we don’t rain by mid-Feb I think droughts will become more of an issue.
Phi D

Zelda on 1/02/2021 11:32pm

Enjoyed watching this. Very clear explanations.

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