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NIWA Confirms: November was drier, hotter

NIWA has this week confirmed what has been forecasting for the past couple of months – that despite some rain in recent weeks there are large portions of the upper North Island that are now drier than average.

November 2013 was characterised by mean sea level pressure anomalies that were strongly positive over the South Island, with such anomalies extending well east, west and south of New Zealand. However, across northern New Zealand pressure anomalies were below normal. These regional pressure patterns resulted in frequent easterly flows across New Zealand.

Temperatures were above average (0.5-1.2°C above November average) or well above average (more than 1.2°C above November average) throughout most of New Zealand. 

The exceptions were limited eastern parts of Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, Gisborne, and northern parts of Northland, where near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of November average) were recorded.

 It was a particularly warm month about Fiordland, the Southern Lakes, Westland, Manawatu, Taranaki, the Central Plateau, Tauranga, Auckland and southwest Northland where temperatures were well above average, and a number of record or near-record high temperatures occurred in these parts. 

The nationwide average temperature in November 2013 was 15.1°C, (1.4°C above the 1971-2000 November average from NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which begins in 1909).

Rainfall was below normal (50-79 percent of November normal) or well below normal (less than 50 percent of November normal) across much of the South Island.  It was especially dry in the southeast of the South Island, where record or near-record low rainfall totals were observed.

Rainfall was also well below normal in parts of Canterbury and Westland.  In the North Island, well above normal rainfall (more than 150 percent of November normal) was observed in southeastern parts, with above normal rainfall (120-149 percent of November normal) observed across parts of the Central Plateau, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

In contrast, well below normal rainfall was recorded on the Kapiti Coast and coastal parts of northern Taranaki.  Rainfall totals were near normal (within 20 percent of November normal) for the remainder of the North Island.

As at 1 December 2013, soils were much drier than normal in Northland, Auckland, and Waikato, but much wetter than normal along the southeast of the North Island.  Elsewhere, soils were typically wetter than normal for remaining parts of the North Island, and drier than normal across most of the South Island.



Chris Johnson on 6/12/2013 10:03am

All that big mass of rain that came down from the north crossed over Paraparaumu and then turned inland into the hills at McKays. A northerly track, rather than a NW from Taranaki. We only got a bit of tail end stuff, not much at all. Now that sux. Don’t want to have to rely on the southerlies for rain this time of year, but … 

… and guess what? It’s not the fault of any forecaster that I follow.

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