Dr Kathleen Kozyniak
Principal Scientist Air
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
Bouts of winter westerlies had a large bearing on the region’s June rainfall and temperatures. Although we had near normal rainfall for the month, the western ranges caught the lion’s share while eastern areas, such as the Heretaunga Plains, saw just two thirds of average June amounts.
Plenty of rain in the ranges is a good thing. It means the headwaters of many of our rivers are receiving that rain and maintaining good flows. All of which helps recharge our aquifers. Both river flows and groundwater levels were at healthy levels for June. Soil moisture levels too were near or above normal for the first month of winter. Not that temperatures were particularly wintry. Daytime temperatures were a solid 1°C about average and overnight temperatures an even heartier 2°C. Soil temperatures unsurprisingly spent most of the month above average.
The tentacles of the La Niña look like they’ll keep some level of grip all year. During the next few months sea level pressures are expected to be higher than normal to the east of the country and lower to the west, especially over the north Tasman Sea. It’s an area that recently spawned a few rainmakers that headed our way. The seasonal forecasts include a reasonable dose of northeasterlies based on that pressure setup, which should keep our temperatures biased to warmer than usual and rainfall favouring normal or above normal levels.
Percentage of Normal Rainfall