Retrospective: January-March 2019 Outlook

The atmospheric circulation around New Zealand was forecast to be characterised by higher pressure than normal extending from the Chatham Islands to the Australian Bight. Over New Zealand, the circulation was forecast to be characterised by westerly quarter flow anomalies and mixed flows. Actual pressures were lower than normal to the south of the country and near normal over New Zealand. As a result there was a slightly enhanced W-SW flow anomaly.

Predicted air temperature: January through March 2019 mean air temperature was most likely to be above average for the north of the North Island and about equally likely to be near or above average for the remaining regions of New Zealand.

Outcome: Actual temperatures were above to well above average for the whole country.

Predicted rainfall: During the January to March 2019 period, near normal rainfall was likely for most regions; however, the north of the North Island had about equal chances for below normal or near normal rainfall and the west of the South Island had about equal chances for above normal or near normal rainfall.

Outcome: Actual rainfall was below normal for much of the country with the exception of the west of the South Island where rainfall was near normal.