Dr Kathleen Kozyniak
Principal Scientist Air
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
Autumn was a season of swings and roundabouts. March was extremely wet, April extremely dry, then May was just right. The region’s rainfall hit exactly 100% of our average May total, though Tangoio was one part of the region where the month’s rainfall fell well short. That area therefore clocks up two dry months in succession.
Soil moisture across the region ended May at above normal levels and was likely maintained at the expense of river flows, which dipped below normal after looking very healthy during March and April. The glow hasn’t come off groundwater levels, which looked in very good heart in our May testing. May was positively balmy with air temperatures a degree above the month’s average.
The La Niña event is potentially with us for the year, though waxing and waning in strength. June has started with a solid bout of westerlies but La Niña’s influence is expected to bring a generous dose of northerlies and easterlies through winter. Temperatures should stay balmy for the time of year, particularly as we still have warm seas around us. Alongside La Niña conditions, the Indian Ocean Dipole is likely to be negative during winter and spring, enhancing the prospect of rainfall during both seasons being near or above normal. Overall the picture isn’t too different from what we’ve had of late and even the ride could continue in autumn’s bumpy fashion.
Percentage of Normal Rainfall