I can’t really complain about the amount of rain we’ve had in recent months and the temperatures, though I bit more sun for my solar ovens wouldn’t go amiss. Rainfall accumulations for the calendar year to date are above average and temperatures have typically been warmer than usual.
August made a generous contribution on both counts, delivering above average rainfall and temperatures that were 1.5°C warmer than normal. The Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Plains and the southern coast of the region were most blessed, or cursed depending on your view, receiving an extra 50% of average August rainfall.
It’s therefore all good news for groundwater levels, which are looking robust for the start of spring. The same can be said for soil moisture which is above median levels for the time of year and at field capacity in many places. Soil temperatures were warm for August and finished the month on about 11°C. August river flows were nicely close to average for the month.
The forecast for spring looks promising, with near normal rainfall expected and temperatures warmer than usual. A negative Indian Ocean Dipole and La Niña conditions will be the main drivers of our spring weather so we could see more in the way of northeasterlies than blustery westerlies. Sea level pressures are expected to be lower than usual to the northwest of the country and higher than usual over and to the east of New Zealand. That has potential for a pattern of long settled periods interrupted by the occasional rain maker – a pattern that hopefully leads to average spring rainfall overall.
Percentage of Normal Rainfall
Dr Kathleen Kozyniak
Principal Scientist Air
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council