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


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 decreased everywhere during the past week due to meagre rainfall and above average temperatures. The most significant decreases were observed across the northern half of the North Island, where soil moisture levels are now below normal nearly everywhere from Northland to Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The driest soils across the North Island compared to normal for this time of the year are now found near Cape Reinga and southernmost Wairarapa, while the wettest soils for this time of the year are located around Napier and Mahia Peninsula.

In the North Island, small hotspots are now in place at the top of Aupouri Peninsula and in far southern Wairarapa.

In the South Island, soil moisture levels decreased in most locations during the past week as rainfall was generally below normal and above to well above average temperatures were commonplace. Slight increases in soil moisture were observed along the southern Otago coast, however. The driest soils across the South Island compared to normal for this time of the year are found across far southern Canterbury, interior Otago, and the Marlborough Sounds, while the wettest soils for this time of the year are found in and around Dunedin.

Active hotspots in the South Island are currently located in interior southern Canterbury, the Queenstown-Lakes District, and the northeast coast of Marlborough.

Outlook and Soil Moisture

In the North Island, mostly dry weather will remain in place through early Saturday (9 November) as high pressure northeast of New Zealand retains control. However, a plume of moisture-rich subtropical air will arrive on Sunday and Monday (10-11 November), bringing moderate to even heavy rainfall to much of the North Island. In the upper North Island, some locations may see upwards of 40-50 mm of rain during this time, while lesser amounts are likely farther south. After a drying trend in the middle of next week, a front moving up from the South Island next Thursday (14 November) could deliver another 10-20 mm to western areas. Total rainfall in the next week could reach 40-60 mm in the upper North Island, 25-40 mm in the lower North Island, but only 15-20 mm along the East Coast.

Soil moisture levels are likely to improve in much of the upper North Island, while slight improvements are possible in the lower North Island. However, with less rainfall expected, the East Coast may see little change in the coming week. The current hotspot in the Aupouri Peninsula may disappear in the coming days, although little change is anticipated in southern Wairarapa.

In the South Island, a series of fronts will bring substantial rainfall to the West Coast through to Sunday (10 November), while 10-15 mm may also spill over into Southland and Otago. On Monday, low pressure may form off the coast of Canterbury, whose return flow could bring moderate rainfall to the eastern South Island. During the middle of next week, a couple more fronts will bring additional heavy rain to the West Coast and perhaps 10-15 mm to areas east of the Southern Alps. Total rainfall in the next week could exceed 200 mm in parts of the West Coast, with 20-40 mm possible in much of the eastern South Island.

With very heavy rainfall anticipated along the West Coast, soil moisture levels will increase substantially in the next week, but localised flooding will also be a concern. Expected rainfall amounts should also allow for at least small to moderate soil moisture increases in the eastern South Island. All of the current South Island hotspots are likely to weaken at least slightly in the coming week.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Northland’s Covid Case, And Biden’s Battle Lines

The South African variant at the centre of the Northland case of community transmission calls for a reset of several aspects of our Covid response. Some aspects of that reset are overdue. Since the pandemic began, the debate on whether transmission can be (or is mainly) via small aerosols rather than larger droplets has barely been reflected in official health policy, which has focussed largely on the droplets...More>>


National: Leader Of The Opposition’s State Of The Nation Speech

Kia ora and thank you for that welcome. It is a pleasure to be here. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Auckland and the EMA for hosting me at this first event in your centenary year. National and Rotary share many common principles, including community ... More>>


Ministry Of Health: Probable Case Of COVID-19 In A Returnee

The Ministry of Health is investigating a positive test result in a person who recently travelled from overseas and completed their stay in managed isolation in a facility in Auckland. In the case we are investigating and reporting today, the person had ... More>>


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>


USA: Prime Minister Congratulates President Joe Biden On His Inauguration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter ... More>>


Government: New Zealand And China Sign FTA Upgrade

Trade Ministers for New Zealand and China today signed an upgrade to the free trade agreement between the two countries. “This modernises our free trade agreement and ensures it will remain fit for purpose for another decade,” Minister for Trade ... More>>

Oxfam NZ: Wealth Of New Zealand’s Richest Person’s Soars By $3.4bn Since Beginning Of Pandemic

New Zealand’s richest citizen, Graeme Hart, has seen his fortune increase by NZ$3,494,333,333 since March 2020 – a sum equivalent to over half a million New Zealanders receiving a cheque for NZ$6,849 each, reveals a new analysis from Oxfam today. The New Zealand ... More>>


Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>





InfoPages News Channels