Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

November – droughts, storms or just plain dull?

You’d think the month that transitions us from Spring to Summer would be a turbulent one full of dramatic weather events – but the truth is, November can be eerily quiet compared to October and December.  Since (known then as the Weather Watch Centre) first kicked off in 2005 we’ve noticed one thing – our ratings flatten out in November.   That reflects something we already know – November’s weather can actually be fairly dull.

Gone are the big winter storms that blast the country with snow, hail and gales (although all three are possible in November, the snow and hail are certainly less likely).  But November is also too early for the big sub-tropical storms or the heat waves.

Sometimes we get a hot nor’wester that finally breaks the 30 degree mark, certainly recent national highs indicate we are edging closer and closer to this with highs reaching 26 degrees lately.

But with some regions in the east now starting to dry out will November be a worrying month for farmers and those on limited water supplies?

The short answer is yes, the long answer is yes but that comes with a “but”.

The ‘but’ being – yes it will be a concern, but we are in a La Nina weather pattern which does give us the “wild card” – a decent rain bearing low from the sub-tropics is possible at any given time.

In November last year droughts were just starting to get underway across the country – they were all at the bottom of the scale but it was a concern for many farmers.  At the same time and NIWA were both saying “the rains are coming” – while it was a nervous wait they did come later in December. The droughts were over before they started and we headed into a summer that had brilliant hot days but some good rain events too.

This time around NIWA aren’t quite so optimistic about the rains, suggesting that the type of La Nina we have this year may not favour the same big rain makers as last summer.

So will this November be an extra dry one?  At this stage we don’t see any evidence to suggest that, with a big rain maker near New Zealand for the first week of November according to the latest long range data.  That heavy rain will then be followed by a very large high… perhaps this November won’t be the quiet month it’s been in previous years?  We’ll keep you posted…


HAVE YOU SAY — Do you have any November weather memories?  Is it a boring month to you weather-wise or an exciting one?  Post your comments below (and don’t forget to use a name or handle!)


JohnGaul on 27/10/2011 8:04am

October has been dull and now with November approaching, that will be dull as well with another La Nina summer approaching.
However, there may be some 40C days in February, I think, or so high temperatures coming for eastern districts this summer.


Guest on 26/10/2011 8:49pm

Have to say spring to date in Christchurch has been terrible. Very few NW winds I can remember. Hoping they finally come through on a regular basis in November, as December usually seems to be a month of NE rubbish. Show week is usually reliable for warm, dry NW conditions. Fingers crossed.

westcoast on 26/10/2011 7:24pm

ye, nn the distant past November has produced some long dry periods, lasting right through xmas, and has seen farmer in the Waikato/Auckland area have very light hay crops and the cows on once a day milking before xmas.

RW on 26/10/2011 7:04pm

It’s to be hoped that November is anticyclonic, with a decent dose of sunshine. October to date has been an unpleasant reversal of September’s sunny conditions, with low to very low totals over much of the country, below average temperatures in the eastern 2/3 of the South Island, and above average rainfall in many areas.

Related Articles