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May 2018 – A cooler month signalled for many of us

2nd May 2018

May temperatures are forecast to run a touch cooler than usual across the North Island, as well as for Nelson and Marlborough. For the remainder of the South Island, fairly typical May temperatures are expected.

“It looks likely that the abnormal heat New Zealand experienced during most of the last six months has well and truly gone,” said MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths.

All of the factors that drove the unusual heat have now subsided. During April, the warmer seas in the New Zealand region continued to cool; La Nina had transitioned back to neutral levels, and a previously benign Southern Ocean fired up, throwing active weather across New Zealand.

April was a stormy, changeable month, with frequent lows affecting New Zealand. Several damaging weather events affected the country, the most notable occurred on 9-10 April, bringing low snow to the far south, heavy rain to many regions, and highly damaging winds to the Auckland region. Another major low on 29 April produced downpours between Northland and Bay of Plenty, as well as heavy rain in Nelson, along the West Coast of the South Island, and in Canterbury and Otago. A State of Emergency was declared in Ngongotaha, Rotorua, on 29 April, due to flooding.

“As we enter May, there is a brief change away from the highly unsettled weather seen in April,” noted Griffiths. “High pressure and drier conditions prevail this week. But the weather maps soon show a variety of weather features again.” Northwesterlies return this weekend, before a mixture of intermittent lows favouring the North Island, stalled highs, and southwesterlies produce a wide range of weather conditions for the remainder of the month.

A drier than usual May is forecast for Southland and the West Coast of the South Island. Near normal May rainfall totals are predicted for all other regions of the country.

The latest Rural Outlook can be found at You can keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at


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