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Brilliant spring and more of the same could follow

Posted By Jo Pentreath | December 16, 2021

Dr Kathleen Kozyniak
Pri
ncipal Scientist Air
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

What an excellent spring!  We had good rainfall throughout, with above average November rainfall closing it out.  All parts of the region hit 100% or more of the month’s average rainfall and river flows were well above average as a result.

Here’s a shocker, November’s groundwater levels appeared vaguely normal for the end of spring, after running below average for what seems a very long time.  The picture was also rosy for soil moisture, which despite having dived precariously in Central Hawke’s Bay during an extended dry spell in mid-November, bumped back up thanks to welcome rain in November’s final days. Soil temperatures hovered around 20°C on the Plains through November and air temperatures were on steroids. Overnight temperatures reached almost 3°C above normal.

There could be more of the same ahead. We are in the throes of a La Niña event and surrounded by an unusually warm ocean at the moment.  We can expect more easterly winds than usual,. arising from an expected pattern of higher than normal sea level pressure over southern New Zealand and lower to the north of the country.  It’s a set up that increases the likelihood of reasonable rain when rain does come our way and the seasonal forecast models suggest as much, predicting normal or above normal rainfall for summer.   And don’t expect the thermostat to taper – warm seas and hotter than normal temperatures are predicted to stick around.

Percentage of Normal Rainfall

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