Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


NIWA's Hotspot Watch - Dec 21

NIWA's Hotspot Watch

A weekly update describing soil moisture across the country to help assess whether severely to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing these soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.

Facts: Soil Moisture

Across the North Island, soil moisture levels generally only underwent minor changes during the past week. Minor improvements were observed along the east coast, notably in coastal Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay, and farther west in Bay of Plenty. Conversely, minor decreases in soil moisture occurred in northern Waikato and the Far North District. The driest soils across the North Island compared to normal for this time of the year are found in Kaipara District, northern Auckland, western and northern Waikato, much of Taranaki, and Manawatu District and Palmerston North south to Porirua, while the wettest soils for this time of the year are located in small portions of Hastings District, coastal Wairarapa, and Mahia Peninsula.

North Island hotspots are currently in place across Kaipara District, nearly all of Auckland, much of northern Waikato, coastal Taranaki, coastal Manawatu-Whanganui south to Kapiti Coast and Wellington City, Masterton District north to Central Hawke’s Bay, and near East Cape. Elsewhere along the east coast previous hotspots dissipated due to rainfall late last week.

Much of the lower North Island is currently experiencing meteorological drought, including a large portion of Taranaki, coastal Manawatu-Whanganui, and most of Wellington. In addition, severe meteorological drought is in place from Manawatu District south to Kapiti Coast. A small portion of northern Marlborough is also experiencing meteorological drought.

The NZDI is updated
daily here: https://www.niwa.co.nz/climate/information-and-resources/drought-monitor

Across the South Island, soil moisture levels generally changed very little during the past week. However, a notable exception was a significant improvement in coastal Kaikoura and eastern Marlborough. Another minor improvement was observed in eastern Southland and Clutha District. The driest soils across the South Island compared to normal for this time of the year are found in Tasman, Nelson, the northern West Coast, interior Canterbury and southern Southland, while the wettest soils for this time of the year are found in Fiordland.

South Island hotspots are currently located in northern Tasman, Nelson, interior central Canterbury, Banks Peninsula, coastal Selwyn District, and a small portion of southern Southland.

Outlook and Soil Moisture

A weak trough about the North Island may produce isolated showers in central and northern areas from Friday through to Christmas Eve (22nd -24th December), but rainfall totals in these areas could be 10 mm or less. However, isolated locations under heavier showers could receive as much as 15 mm. Christmas Day will be mostly dry before a front moves up the North Island on Boxing Day, where many locations could receive 5-15 mm. On Wednesday and Thursday (27th -28th December) there is a possibility for developing low pressure to bring additional rainfall to Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, however this outcome remains low confidence at this time. Overall during the next week, the upper North Island may receive less than 10 mm of rainfall, with 10-25 mm possible elsewhere. Should the post-Boxing Day low pressure occur, more substantial amounts would be possible in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

Due to the expected rainfall and its geographic placement in the North Island, soil moisture levels will likely continue to decrease across northern and western areas during the next week, with the possibility for little change in central areas. Should the post-Boxing Day low pressure occur, improvements in soil moisture levels could occur in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. This may lead to strengthening and enlargement of existing hotspots in Northland, Auckland, northwestern Waikato, Taranaki, and Manawatu-Whanganui to Wellington, while further improvements may occur along the east coast.

In the South Island, a weak front could bring a couple millimetres of rain to eastern areas this evening. High pressure will then be the dominant feature from Friday through to Christmas Eve (22nd -24th December), with little to no rain expected. A front will move up the South Island on Christmas Day, bringing substantial rainfall of 25-50 mm to the West Coast and Tasman, but less than 15 mm to locations east of the Southern Alps. More pop-up showers in Otago and Canterbury on Boxing Day could produce isolated 10 mm amounts before high pressure returns on Wednesday and Thursday.

Additional improvements in soil moisture levels will be likely during the next week along the West Coast and to a lesser extent in Tasman, while minor improvements could occur in Otago and southern Canterbury. However, decreases in soil moisture may occur from central Canterbury to Marlborough due to low rainfall amounts. Hotspots in northern Tasman, Nelson, interior central Canterbury and Southland are unlikely to change significantly during the next week, while a return to near-Hotspot conditions could occur in Kaikoura and eastern Marlborough.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ministerial Inquiry: Broad Look At Mental Health And Addiction Services

The Government has taken a major step towards improving mental health and addiction services with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing details of a ministerial inquiry.

The Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction will be chaired by former Health and Disability Commissioner, Professor Ron Paterson, and will report back to the Government by the end of October. More>>


Wealth: Two NZers Own More Than Poorest 30%

A staggering 28 per cent of all wealth created in New Zealand in 2017 went to the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis, while the 1.4 million people who make up the poorest 30 per cent of the population got barely 1 per cent, according to new research released by Oxfam. More>>


Employment: Joint Working Group On Pay Equity Principles Reconvened

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway, and Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, are reconvening the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles as the next step in pay equity for New Zealand women. More>>


Hapū: Prime Minister And Clarke Gayford Expecting First Child

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have announced that they are expecting their first child in June. “We’re both really happy. We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting." More>>


Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care. Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More >>

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List. “Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said. More
Full list

Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>





Featured InfoPages