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Tropics active north of Australia, but not north of NZ – but that may change in February continues to monitor the tropics closely for rain makers now that large portions of New Zealand are starting to dry out. Today Australia has two storms, Cyclone Riley on the western coastline and a Tropical Depression in the Gulf of Carpentaria which may become a cyclone. Neither of these tropical storms pose any risk to New Zealand.

In a nut shell the tropics directly north of NZ are quiet but they are a little more active to our north east around Tonga and far more feisty north of Australia.

But the threat to New Zealand for tropical weather starts to increase in mid February as high pressure sinks further south removing the invisible barrier between NZ and the tropics and allowing more humid conditions to sink southwards. In fact already computer models today are suggesting a low from the Coral Sea may drift down eastern Australia and into the Tasman Sea area in the first week of February. It’s more likely to affect the Gold Coast than NZ at this stage.

High pressure looks set to stay over the New Zealand area but may sink further down over the South Island allowing these tropical rainmakers to flirt closer with northern NZ. But for now though, the long range forecast for the next two weeks is that New Zealand is likely to miss tropical rain makers and continue with our drier than average pattern which is setting in firmly for some regions now.

The tropics will be worth monitoring from February’s second week onwards, that’s when the chance of tropical rainmakers starts to increase in the New Zealand area, at least to some degree.

The next 7 days look much drier than average in many parts of NZ (shown in red). You can see the two tropical lows bringing rain to Australia though (in blue).  (Data for NZ via the US Government)

(US Government data)



Guest on 26/01/2019 7:59pm

and aussie was worried about droughts I guess they have forgotten a bout the 82…83 el nino and nz too it was pure hell

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